The bodies of 23 people, who were burned to death in a massive fire in a crowded launch near Jhalakathi on Friday, were buried in a mass graveyard in Barguna district on Saturday.
The bodies were buried at Potkakhali mass graveyard in Sadar upazila around 12 pm.
Earlier, a namaz-e-janaza of 30 launch fire victims was held at Barguna Circuit House at 11 am joined by several hundred people.
The local administration had taken preparations to bury the 30 unidentified deceased in the government graveyard but after the namaz-e-janaza seven of them were identified by their family members, said Barguna Deputy Commissioner Habibur Rahman .
The district administration authorities handed over the identified bodies to their respective families and buried 23 bodies in 21 graves .
Barguna Deputy Commissioner Habibur Rahman on Friday said they received 37 bodies on Friday night from Jhalakathi General Hospital and the bodies of seven people were handed over to the families of the victims on Saturday.
Of them, four bodies were handed over to their families in Barishal and Jhalakathi districts, he said adding three more bodies were identified at night and handed over to families from Barguna General Hospital morgue.
The authorities concerned have collected the DNA samples of the deceased. However, it is still not clear how many people are still missing, he said.
A control room has been opened to collect information of the missing people and the family members of the missing people have been asked to provide necessary assistance to the local administration.
“The identities of the missing people will be known within one or two days,” hoped the deputy commissioner.
Meanwhile, relatives and family members of the missing people have thronged the Sadar Hospital with the images of their near and dear ones to identify the bodies.
However, the local administration has kept the morgue open till 10 am to let the relatives of the victims to identify the bodies.
Meanwhile, UNB Jhalakathi correspondent reports the divers from local fire service and coast guard started a rescue operation around 9 am on Saturday in the Sugandha River.
At least 40 passengers were charred to death and 72 others injured after a massive fire broke out in the engine room of a launch in the middle of Sugandha River off the coast of Jhalakathi Sadar Upazila.
Two of the deceased, Taifa-7 and Labiba, 4, who were injured in the fire, died on their way to Dhaka on Friday, reports UNB Barishal correspondent after talking with the relatives of the two victims.
Besides, another victim, who was undergoing treatment at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, succumbed to his injuries on Friday night, taking the total death toll to 40.
The blaze broke out at 3am on the Barguna-bound Avijan-10 launch carrying some 800 passengers from Dhaka and it engulfed the entire vessel within 10 minutes.
Earlier on Friday, the government announced Tk 1.5 lakh as compensation to the families of each victim who lost their lives in the deadly fire.
Expressing profound shock and sorrow at the loss of lives and injuries in the MV Avijan-10 launch fire, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday directed the authorities concerned to ensure quick treatment of the injured and hand over the bodies to their relatives promptly.
The government on Friday formed a seven-member committee to probe the launch fire.
The committee was asked to submit a report to the shipping ministry within three working days.