4 months ago

Missile-hit Banglar Samriddhi

Ill-fated BSC ship still stuck in Ukraine waters

Insurance claim of $22.4m may be available if it remains stranded there for one year

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The missile-hit vessel of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) that remained stuck in the Ukrainian waters is yet to be brought back as the war situation did not improve and agents of the re-insurer could not reach there, officials here said.

The vessel, Banglar Samriddhi, was hit by a missile on the night of March 02 last, killing a crew member on the spot and injuring several others.

Soon after the incident, the vessel was abandoned by the crew members, who have already been sent back to Bangladesh by the authorities concerned.

The vessel is now under the war coverage by the re-insurer and is under satellite observation, said an official concerned.

The BSC had acquired 'Banglar Samriddhi', a 38,896 deadweight tonnage (DWT) bulk carrier vessel, in late 2018 along with its two other peers, built in China with funding from the Exim Bank of China.

BSC managing director S M Moniruzzaman could not be reached despite several attempts to get the update about the vessel's fate.

However, the corporation's general manager, Mohammad Ashraful Amin, told the FE on Monday that the vessel still remained at the same position as "the situation is not favourable there". The procedure to get compensation from the insurer is underway, he said, without elaboration.

Wasiful Haque, general manager at the Reinsurance Department of the Sadharan Bima Corporation (SBC), told the FE that the war coverage of the vessel is in force and the SBC has already placed its claim for US$ 22.4 million to the re-insurer.

"Since there is no development of the war situation, the vessel could not be brought back to the safe zone," he said.

Mr Haque said the BSC and the re-insurer are trying hard to bring the ship out from the area. He said the incident will complete 12 months in February next year, and if the re-insurer fails to bring the ship out from the spot, they will declare 'constructive total loss' and make the payment as insured.

Syed Shahriyar Ahsan, former managing director of the SBC, said that bringing back the vessel from the war zone was delayed as Russia is not providing clearance to move any vessel from there. "The vessel is under satellite observation," he said, adding that the re-insurer has been waiting for clearance for safe passage of the ship.

Contacted on Monday, shipping secretary Mostafa Kamal said he was in constant touch with the people concerned to get the updates about the vessel related developments.

"We have contact with the insurer. They kept us updated everyday," he told the FE.

He said that once the one year of the incident passes away, the BSC will get 100 per cent compensation against the insured amount.

Mr Kamal said that he also keeps the Prime Minister's Office updated about the ship's position regularly.

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