Rescue members bring bodies of victims on a boat after a passenger ferry capsized in the river Buriganga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 29 June 2020.
Rescue members bring bodies of victims on a boat after a passenger ferry capsized in the river Buriganga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 29 June 2020. Reuters

The master of the launch, Morning Bird, that capsized after being hit by another in river Buriganga on 29 June, passed 70 years of old though a launch master cannot operate a water vessel if he is above 65.

At least 34 people were killed and many went missing in the deadly accident in Dhaka.

According to the law, a master cannot operate a launch or ship without the permission of the shipping department when he exceeds 58. One cannot operate as a master if is above 65, according to Shafiqur Rahman, chief inspector of the shipping department.

A 58-year-old master is only granted license upon a physical fitness certificate by civil surgeon, an ophthalmologist certificate and other tests, he added.

Advertisement

According to the NID, the master of Morning Bird, Amir Ali, died in the accident, was 70 years old and was from Banaghata, Dohar in Dhaka.

The chief master of Mayur-2 that crashed into Morning Bird is also above 65. According to the case statement, he was identified as Abul Bashar Molla, from Kolagachhi, Magura.

“The river police, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), and the shipping department officials are responsible to monitor whether the permissible age is being followed in vessels,” said KM Jasim Uddin Sarker, chief nautical surveyor of shipping department.

Meanwhile, the river police probing the case filed against seven over the incident could not detain any accused till 1 July.

“The accused have turned off their phones, so they could not be traced. We’re trying to arrest them,” said Khandaker Faridul Islam, investigating officer of the case and Dhaka district river police head.

According to witnesses, that day, Mayur-2 arrived at Lalkuthir Ghat after hitting Morning Bird and the master fled the spot along with other staffers.

BIWTA chairman commodore Golam Sadeq said, if the BIWTA officers as well as river police, Ansar members present at Lalkuthir Ghat at the time were active and sincere the accused could not flee.

The accused named in the charge sheet are Mayur-2 owner Mosaddek Hanif, master Abul Bashar Molla, class three master Jakir Hossain, Shipan Howlader, Shakil Hossain, Nasir Mrida and Hridoy.

Advertisement