News & Politics
A crew member was killed in a rocket attack on a Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) vessel stranded at a Ukrainian port Wednesday.
"The deceased is Hadisur Rahman, 47, third engineer of Banglar Samriddhi," said Captain Md Anam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers' Association.
Also, talking to UNB, Bangladesh Ambassador to Poland Sultana Laila Hossain confirmed the death of the third engineer of the ship.
"The ship caught fire at 9:25pm (Bangladesh time, 5.25pm in Ukraine) as a rocket struck its bridge. The crew members were able to tame the flame immediately. Hadisur Rahman was killed as the ship came under attack; everyone else is okay," Anam Chowdhury said.
Amid the worrying development in Ukraine, the bulk carrier Banglar Samriddhi got stuck at the 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 are Bangladeshis.
Ukrainian authorities reported fighting near Mykolaiv, Odesa, and other areas.
Banglar Samriddhi had been anchored at the port before the Russian invasion began on February 24, Omar Faruque Tuhin, a crew member of the ship, told UNB over the phone on February 27.
"All activities at the port came to a screeching halt immediately and we got stuck on the ship. Panic has gripped us. We hear the sound of explosions and gunfire in the distance. Fortunately, the port has not yet come under direct attack," said Omar.
"However, it is dangerous for our ship to move around as there can be planted mines in the sea," he added.
Banglar Samriddhi, now caught in the fighting in Ukraine, reached Olvia on February 22 to load ball clay, according to the BSC.
As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalated, the BSC cancelled the plan and asked the master of the vessel to shift to international waters.
However, the bulk carrier failed to leave the port immediately due to a delay in getting port clearance and got stranded as Ukraine closed its seaports following the Russian invasion.
Russian forces had blocked the cities of Kherson on the Black Sea and the port of Berdyansk on the Azov Sea, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.
The pressure on strategic ports in the south of Ukraine appeared aimed at seizing control of the country's coastline stretching from the border with Romania in the west to the border with Russia in the east.
Cutting Ukraine's access to its seaports would deal a major blow to the country's economy.
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