The government is giving utmost importance to ensure the safety of the stranded Bangladeshi crew members of Banglar Samriddhi in Ukraine, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday.

"Extensive diplomatic level activities are going on to rescue them or shift them to a safer place," he said while briefing reporters at the secretariat.

"After engineer Hadisur Rahman's death 28 Bangladeshi crew remained stranded in the ship. His body has been preserved but bringing it back to Bangladesh will depend on the war situation in Ukraine," the state minister added.

Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said the government will support Hasidur's family in every possible way.

He said, "I had discussions with the secretary of the ministry Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, managing director of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation Commodore Sumon Mahmud Sabbir, officials of Bangladesh Embassy in Poland and the captain of MV Banglar Samriddhi. We have urged the crew members not to take any wrong step out of fear as their safety is our first priority."

"Our merchant ship was not supposed to be attacked but it came under a missile attack anyway. When we will be confirmed which side launched the attack we will comment on it. Currently, we are making necessary diplomatic communications through the Ministry of ForeignAffairs," said the state minister.

He said the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also worried after the incident and gave directives to ensure safety of the stranded crew members.

On Wednesday, Md Hadisur Rahman, 47, third engineer of Banglar Samriddhi was killed in a rocket attack on a BSC vessel stranded at Ukrainian Port of Olvia, located in the Mykolaiv region on the left bank of the Dnipro-Bug estuary on the northern Black Sea coast.

All 29 crew on-board were Bangladeshis. Banglar Samriddhi, now caught in the fighting in Ukraine, reached Olvia on February 22 to load ball clay, according to the BSC.

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