Jhalokati ferry fire: 39 killed and dozens injured as engine room inferno engulfs ship

A ferry caught fire on a river in Bangladesh’s Jhalokati district, about 124 miles south of the capital Dhaka, while carrying around 1,000 passengers. Md Nazmul Alam, the Jhalokati district’s additional deputy commissioner, revealed the ferry was traveling from Dhaka to Barguna district in southern Bangladesh when the engine room caught fire around 3am local time.

Jhalokati fire service personnel arrived at the scene shortly after receiving news of the emergency and tackled the fire for over two hours.

Officials and police remain on the scene and are assisting in the rescue operation.

According to local reports, bodies of ten people have been recovered from the engine room and hundreds of passengers have sustained burns.

Jhalokati Additional Superintendent of Police Moinul Haque revealed the fire was under control around 5am local time.

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Shahidul Islam, Station Officer at the Jhalakati Fire Service and Civil Defense, said the names of the dead were not immediately known.

The Station Officer also stated while the fire is under control, current rescue operations are underway and the death toll is expected to rise.

Officials have said around 65 people who sustained burns in the fire have been rescued and taken to local Jhalokati Sadar Hospital and Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital.

Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan, deputy director of Barisal Division Fire Service, said some of the burn victims were in a critical condition.

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According to reports, eight children are among the burn victims.

Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, 51, State Minister of Shipping, has left Dhaka for Jhalokati to monitor the situation following the devastating fire.

He is set to arrive on the scene by midday local time on Friday, as confirmed by Jahangir Alam, Senior Information Officer of the Ministry of Shipping.

Mr Chowdhury expressed his condolences and sorrow for the loss of lives in a touching message.

The State Minister of Shipping gave his condolences to the bereaved family members and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

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