A cargo vessel transporting cement clinker from Chattogram capsized in the Kirtonkhola river after colliding with a passenger launch near Barishal River Port around 10:30pm yesterday.
The cargo vessel, Md Dudu Mia-1, collided head-on with Dhaka-bound triple-decker launch Shahrukh-2, which was carrying 300 passengers, said the authorities and witnesses.
Selim Hossain, supervisor of Shahrukh-2, said after the collision the launch was docked on Kirtonkhola riverbank at Char Kawa area in Sadar upazila.
“The cargo vessel was going the wrong way, resulting in the accident,” he claimed. Ansar Ali Howlader, manager of Dudu Mia-1, however, claimed that the launch was speeding and hit the cargo.
Saidur Rahman Rintu, president of Barishal Launch Owners Association, said movement of water vessels was disrupted due to the accident.
Shahrukh-2 was severely damaged after the collision, and most of the passengers were transferred to another launch -- MV Pubali, said Ajmol Huda Mithu, deputy director (marine safety and river traffic) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) at Barishal River Port.
The cargo vessel along with its load is yet to be recovered. Md Rafiqul Islam, commander of “Nirvik” rescue ship, said, “We are trying several ways to recover the vessel as we do not have the equipment to bear weight of both the vessel and its load.”