Massive Fire Kills At Least 39 Aboard a Ferry

by Matthew Wilson

Fires often devastate everything in their paths. Unfortunately, a recent fire on the water has left at least 39 people dead and countless more injured. The massive fire started aboard a crowded ferry early on Christmas Eve.

At least 72 people experienced injuries from the blaze. The incident happened in Bangladesh. Many passengers had to jump for their lives. They braved the murky river waters, swimming for shore, according to the New York Post.

Reportedly, the fire happened around 3 in the morning on the MV Avijan-10 ferry.

“I was sleeping on the deck and woke up hearing screams and a loud noise. To my utter shock, I saw thick smoke coming out from the back of the ferry. I jumped into the freezing water of the river in the thick fog like many other passengers and swam to the riverbank,” a survivor, Anisur Rahman, said.

Rahman like many others made the jump to save his life. But others weren’t so fortunate. The ferry carried a total of 800 passengers, headed through the Sugandha River. So what started the blaze? Well fire officials believe the inferno started in the engine room of the ship. It quickly spread throughout the rest of the ferry.

In total, 15 fire trucks battled for over two hours to put out the fire. But it still took at least eight hours to completely extinguish the fire. Officials brought the remains of the ferry to shore.

Fire Kills Almost 40 People

It wasn’t until officials could look closer did they realize the carnage that resulted. Responders removed at least 39 bodies from the wreckage. Likewise, at least 72 people had to be hospitalized as well. Of that number, seven are reported to be in critical condition.

The incident brings to mind another tragedy. Back in April, a ferry ended up colliding with another ship. The crash resulted in 25 people losing their lives.

According to officials, the December 24th ferry traveled from the country’s capital to Barguna. But the ferry never completed its 155-mile journey. Many of the passengers were returning home from a fun weekend spent with family and friends. Now, that experience is scarred by the resulting tragedy.

Ferry incidents are not an uncommon thing in Bangladesh. The country reportedly has lax rules when it comes to its waterways. Likewise, overcrowding in the country remains a real issue. When tragedy strikes, it’s often chaotic and worse as a result. Combine these factors with the fact that Bangladesh has 130 rivers crisscrossing across it. People often travel via waterway.

Officials don’t know exactly what caused the blaze. But they will investigate and report their findings. Meanwhile, the survivors will try to recover from their traumatic ordeal.