Coast Guard seizes cargo vessel that hit launch killing 34 in Shitalakkhya

The Coastguards have detained a cargo vessel that hit a passenger launch last Sunday, killing 34 passengers on the Shitalakkhya river in Narayanganj.

The 14 crew members of the cargo vessel were also detained on Thursday in Munshiganj’s Gojaria, where the vessel was anchored.

They include the vessel’s Master Wahiduzzaman, 55, and sailor Mojnu Molla, 38.

The red vessel, SKL-3, was painted white to conceal its identity but the Coastguards tracked it, said Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Mustain Billah.

Witnesses and survivors said the launch, Sabit Al Asad, packed beyond capacity, sank on Apr 4 after being hit by SKL-3. The captain of the vessel ignored warnings three times, said ‘Anis’, a security guard at the Third Shitalakkhya Bridge project.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has started a case on charges of killing the passengers by sailing the cargo vessel recklessly.