Video shows terrifying moments of Buriganga launch capsize

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-06-29 21:55:55 BdST

bdnews24

A security camera video has revealed the terrifying moments of how the launch, Morning Bird, sank in seconds after being hit by another vessel, Moyur-2, on the Buriganga river.

Morning Bird, with over 50 passengers on board, left Munshiganj’s Kathpotti for the capital about 7:30 am on Monday and reached near Shyambazar just after 9am.      

The footage from a security camera on the bank of the Buriganga River in Dhaka revealed that Morning Bird was a few hundred metres away from the pier when the disaster struck.

Moyur-2, a larger vessel from Chandpur, which was speeding in reverse, slammed Morning Bird. In the next few seconds, Morning Bird went upside down and started sinking under Moyur-2, which was still moving in reverse.

As Morning Bird was disappearing under water, some of the passengers were seen swimming ashore. People working on the riverbank rushed to the edge of a pier in an attempt to rescue the drowning passengers.

As the tragic scene unfolded on the river, Moyur-2 shifted its gear and began moving forward. The authorities seized the vessel and arrested two members of the staff. The others, including the master, have fled.

Fire service members transferring the bodies of those dead in the Buringanga launch capsize to the morgue of Mitford Hospital. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

Fire service members transferring the bodies of those dead in the Buringanga launch capsize to the morgue of Mitford Hospital. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

The rescuers pulled 30 bodies from inside the ill-fated vessel, while doctors declared dead two other passengers rescued by local people.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury suspects there was foul play involved in the tragedy.

"I feel that this was planned. This wasn't an accident but murder," he said after reviewing footage of the disaster.

Shocked over the Buringanga launch capsize incident, relatives of the victims break down in tears in front of Mitford Hospital’s morgue in Old Dhaka. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

Shocked over the Buringanga launch capsize incident, relatives of the victims break down in tears in front of Mitford Hospital’s morgue in Old Dhaka. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

The government formed a seven-strong panel, headed by a joint secretary to the shipping ministry, to look into the incident. The other members include representatives of BUET, BIWTA, Department of Shipping and River Police.