One crew member of an oil tanker died and seven sustained burn injuries in a blast on Sugandha river in Jhalakathi this morning.
The deceased was identified as Kamrul Islam (35), reports our Barishal correspondent quoting Shahidul Islam, station master of Jhalakathi Fire Service and Civil Defence.
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The tanker, Sagar Nandini-3, which was carrying oil for Padma Oil Company, caught fire after a blast in the engine room around 8am, he said.
Injured supervisor of the oil tanker Rubel said that diesel was supposed to be unloaded today.
“But there was a problem in the pipe which could hinder the unloading. We were trying to fix it when the blast took place,” he added.
The bottom of the vessel was damaged, and as a result, water started pouring in, the fire service official said.
“Upon information we came to the spot and brought the fire under control after two hours. We were able to remove the water and save the ship from sinking,” he added.
Eight critically injured people were rushed to Jhalakathi Sadar Hospital where on-duty doctors declared Kamrul dead, he said.
The remainder of the injured were transferred to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barishal.
The patients, with 30 to 70 percent burn injuries, were again transferred to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the afternoon for advanced treatment. Three of them are in critical condition, said Dr Md Tabith Mollik, in-charge of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital.
Jhalakathi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Johar Ali and Superintendent of Police (SP) Fatiha Yeasmin inspected the site and ordered immediate removal of oil from onboard.
Shafiqul Islam Biswas, marketing officer of Padma Oil Company, said that the ship anchored in Sugandha river in front of the company’s Jhalakathi office with about 11 lakh litres of petrol and diesel.
About two lakh litres of petrol was unloaded at Padma Oil’s depot last afternoon. It was supposed to unload another 9.23 lakh litres of diesel today, he added.