Several dead, dozens injured as crowded boat catches fire in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Dec 24 (EFE).– Several people died and dozens suffered injuries in a massive fire on a large passenger boat in Bangladesh’s southern Jhalokathi district on Friday morning, authorities said.
Faizul Haque, a duty officer at fire service headquarters in southwest Barishal Division, said the incident happened around 3:30 am on Sugandha river in Jhalokathi, some 275 km (150 miles) south of the capital Dhaka.
The boat was traveling to Barguna district from the capital Dhaka.
“So far, we have recovered 15 bodies. Some 63 injured people were taken to Jhalokathi Sadar hospital. We are not sure how many passengers were in the boat,” Haque told EFE.
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