Turag Search Called Off
Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Operations at the Turag accident site to search for bodies of bus passengers have been called off.

A Savar-bound bus had fallen into the Turag river on Sunday with about 50 passengers. Eight of them had made it to the shore, but one among died on her way to hospital. Among the rest, 13 bodies were recovered but 11 could be identified.

The police have filed a case against the bus driver. Sub-inspector Abul Kalam Azad had filed the case on Tuesday night against Mujibur Rahman, the driver. He has been missing since the accident.

Operations chief at the site near Salehpur Bridge Maj Mohammad Shakil Ahmed called off the search operations around 3.30pm but said the team would return if bodies are sighted.

"We've searched a stretch of six kilometres up to the Third Buriganga Bridge from the site. We even looked for bodies up to 20 kilometres with two helicopters," he added.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed information has reached that four more bodies has been sighted floating on the water, 6-7 kilometres south of the spot, on Wednesday, which the major rejected, "I myself went to the spot."

The police said the operation again been launched on Wednesday morning, after it was called off on Tuesday evening. Fire service divers retrieved two bodies since morning, pushing the death toll to 13.

The last body recovered, identified as Hafizur Rahman, 50, the Pesh Imam of Dhaka Pangu Hospital, was handed over to his relatives around 11am.

The deceased's eldest son Faisal Ahmed identified the body.

Ahmed told reporters that his father and maternal uncle Jalil Mia were on their way to Savar for land registration. His maternal uncle, however, managed to get out of the bus.

Ahmed added that the two were carrying Tk 1,400,000 in cash, which was missing.

In addition to Rahman's body, locals have reported another body floating around Panpara Ghat. "The police retrieved the body," Savar police sub-inspector Rifat Khan told bdnews24.com.

However, the body remained unidentified till 11.45am.

The new discovers have raised the accident death toll to 13, of whom 11 have been identified so far.

The bus of Baishakhi Paraibahan fell into Turag near Aminbazar around 11:30am on Sunday. After 54 hours of combined efforts and frantic search, spearheaded by the fire service, the bus was finally drawn out of the river on Tuesday evening.

Earlier on Monday night, after untiring efforts by rescuers for more than 24 hours, the bus had been located some 40 feet under water, stuck in a deep pit, officials said. Local MP Talukder Towhid Jang Murad, present on the spot, formally announced that the bus had been located.

Operations at the Turag bus accident site were suspended around 9pm on Tuesday. Savar Upazila Nirbahee Officer Rabbi Mia said that search for bodies were being called off for the day.

However, thousands of locals and awaiting families of missing persons stayed on site fearing the worst. One of the survivors told the press on Sunday that the bus had almost 50 passengers.

A spokesperson from the rescue team said there were no bodies trapped in the bus after raising it almost two-thirds. However, the families of the missing continue to wait for the dead bodies.

Source: bdnews24.com

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