Dhaka, Dec 24 (EFE).– At least 30 people were killed and around 100 suffered injuries in a massive fire on a large passenger boat in Bangladesh’s southern Jhalokathi district on Friday morning, officials said.
The officials said the incident took place around 3:30 am on Sugandha river in Jhalokathi, some 275 km (150 miles) south of Dhaka, when the boat was on its way to Barguna district from the capital.
Jhalokathi district administration chief Mohammad Zohor Ali told EFE that the rescuers had recovered 30 bodies.
“Nearly 100 injured passengers were sent to hospitals. We do not know exactly how many passengers were on the boat. We got different account from different people. At the moment, we assume about 700 to 800 passengers were traveling with the launch,” Ali said.
Faizul Haque, a duty officer at fire service headquarters in southwest Barishal Division, said the rescue operations were on.
The number of passengers on the boat was still unknown, he said.
Fire services deputy director Kamal Uddin said it was a three-storied launch carrying several hundred passengers.
“It was fully loaded on a Thursday night. Passengers told us there were several hundred people on it,” he told EFE on the phone from the spot.
Kamal said a dense fog hampered the rescue operation.
Boat accidents are common in Bangladesh, but fire incidents on river vessels are rare. EFE