The death toll from deadly launch fire off the coast of Jhalakathi on December 24 rose to 48 on Sunday, as an 8-year-old admitted with over 30 percent burns succumbed to his injuries at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery.
Tamim was kept on life support at the institute's intensive care unit (ICU) as his trachea got damaged. He expired at around 5:50 pm, said Resident Surgeon Dr SM Ayub Hossain.
The toll reached 47 on Wednesday with the death of another 45-year-old at the institute.
The deceased was identified as Shahinur, who suffered 40 per cent burns from the fire, said the hospital authority.
According to a list maintained by Red Crescent Bangladesh's Jhalakathi district office, at least 58 were still missing as of Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the police control room set up at the launch terminal provided information about 41 missing passengers, said Md Salauddin, a sub-inspector at Jhalakathi Sadar Police Station.
On Sunday, Dhaka Marine Court ordered to send the two drivers of the MV Abhijan-10 launch to jail in a case related to last month’s deadly fire.
They are - the 8th accused in the case Abul Kalam ( in-charge driver) and the 7th accused Masum Billah (2nd driver).
Earlier on December 28, the same court sent the two masters of the launch Riaz Sikder (master in charge) and the 6th accused Khalilur Rahman (2nd master) to jail when they surrendered before it.
Advocate Billal Hossain, prosecuting officer of the Department of Shipping, said that the overall responsibility of the engine room rests with the engine drivers. Not only did they neglect their responsibilities, their role in the aftermath of the fire was presumptuous. The fire was initially reported to have started from the engine room, he said.
If they had managed the engine room properly with perfect supervision, perhaps this horrible tragedy could have been averted, Adv Billal added.
On December 26, the chief inspector of the Department of Shipping Shafiqur Rahman filed a case against eight people, including four owners of the launch, under the Marine Act with the Marine Court. The court took cognizance of the case and issued arrest warrants against the accused.
The worst launch fire in memory occurred in the early hours of December 24 on Sugandha river off Jhalakathi town as Abhijan-10 packed with more than 800 passengers was on the way to Barguna from Dhaka.