Another victim of Abhijan launch fire dies in hospital

Mohammad Rasel, 38, died at the Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute on Monday, according to Resident Dr SM Ayub Hossain.

The victim had suffered burns on 40 percent of his body and had been on life support, he told Doctors removed him from life support at 11:45 am.

The burn institute is still treating 12 victims of the fire, including Jesmin Akhter, who lost both her son, 8-year-old Tamim Hassan, and her 5-year-old daughter in the blaze.

Early on Dec 24, the Abhijan-10 launch went up in flames near Jhalakathi’s Gabkhan, leading to the deaths of at least 40 people.

More than 100 others suffered burns or injuries in the blaze. It is the deadliest inland vessel fire in Bangladesh’s history.

The day after the inferno, rescuers pulled bodies from the charred vessel and the river before burying 24 unidentified bodies in a mass grave.

The Fire Service said the launch continued to travel for some time after the fire started and there would have been fewer casualties if they had decided to reach shore as soon as possible.

Three cases have been filed over the incident and launch owner Hamjalal Sheikh has been arrested. Launch Master In-Charge Reaz Sikdar, Second Master Khalilur Rahman and drivers Masum Billah and Abul Kalam have all turned themselves into court and taken into custody as well.

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