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SRI LANKAN RICE CARGO SHIP SINKS NEAR CHITTAGONG HARBOR AND 16 CREW MEN ARE RESCUED; ONE MISSING

By Walter Jayawardhana

A Sri Lankan cargo vessel carrying 3609 tons of rice was sunk off Banglades’s Chiitagong harbor after colliding with a Panamanian empty tanker , the harbor authorities said.

Radio Controller of Chittagong Port Authoritiy,Wahidur Rahman said, “After receiving an SOS from the vessel rescue boats of the harbor authorities saved 16 Sri Lankan and Myanmar crew men but one Myanmar man was still missing.”

The rice laden Sri Lankan vessel, “Badulu Valley” collided with the unloaded Panamanian oil Tanker, Hung Geu in the rough weather August 20 at 11.45 Chittagon time and capsized by the rough sea.

The port authorities said the Chief Engineer of the vessel, Aung kian, a Myanmar national is believed to be trapped inside engine room of the sunken cargo ship.

The accident is believed to have occurred near the outer anchorage of the Chittagon Harbor. The rice laden ship was believed to be moving towards the jetty while the unloaded oil tanker was anchored about one nautical mile away from the coast when the accident happened.
When captain of the sinking Sri Lankan ship radioed an SOS three rescue vessels rushed to the spot and rescued the 16 crewmen.

The sunken vessel sailed from Kakinada port in Orrisa, India on August 17 and was scheduled to berth at Chittagong port Wednesday, said Chief of Operation of the local agent of the vessel- CLA.
Though the oil tanker suffered physical damage following the collision, it fortunately did not catch fire as it's hatch was empty, a local newspaper reported.

An official of the local agent of the sunken vessel Continental Liner Agencies (CLA) Saiful Ahmed said that the rescued crew were Myanmar and Sri Lankan nationals.

The search work for the missing engineer started by marking the place of accident.
Sources closed to the rescue workers said that the possibility of finding the missing person is bleak .
However, Radio control room suspected that the missing mann might have been trapped in the engine room and the body could be found after recovery of the wreckage.

A two-member probe body comprising - Captain Jashim Uddin and Assistant Harbour Master Rahmat Ullah - has been formed to look into the incident, secretary of the CPA Farhad Syed Uddin Ahmed said.

The probe team has been asked to submit its report within seven days.


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