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Monday, March 20, 2023

High Court seeks probe report on launch fire within 30 days

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The High Court on Tuesday directed all the probe committees formed to investigate the fire incident in Avijan-10 launch fire to submit reports within next 30 days.

It also sought the lists of those died and injured in the incident and asked the District Commissioners concerned to consider the applications seeking fund for treatment of the injured ones.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after hearing on two writ petitions filed in this regard, UNB reports.

The court also asked the authorities concerned to submit fitness documents of all the vessels within 90 days.

The court also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why their inactivity to prevent launch accidents should not be announced illegal.

Secretaries to the Home Ministry, Shipping Ministry, Directorate General of Fire Service and Civil Defence, Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) and the owner of the launch Hamjalal Sheikh and others involved were made respondents to the rule.

On December 27, Supreme Court lawyer Soumitra Sardar filed a writ petition with the High Court which sought a rule asking the government to explain as to why the authorities concerned should not be asked to submit statements about the condition of engines in water vessels and legal license permits.

On December 26, another Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Eunus Ali Akond filed a writ petition with the HC seeking its directives on the authorities concerned to ensure immediate payment of Tk. 10 lakh for the families of the dead and Tk 5 lakh for the injured in the launch fire.

The blaze broke out at 3am on Friday on the Barguna-bound launch carrying some 800 passengers from Dhaka and it engulfed the entire vessel within 10 minutes.

The death toll from the fire incident climbed to 44 on Tuesday. Besides, over 81 people suffered injuries and many of them are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

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