Forty-one killed as Bangladesh ferry capsizes after collision
DHAKA: An overcrowded ferry sank in a Bangladesh river on
Sunday leaving at least 41 people including 11 children dead as rescuers
searched for missing passengers, officials said.
The ferry collided with a cargo vessel and sank within
minutes on the Padma River, the second deadly boat accident in a fortnight in
the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. “Divers have recovered 41
bodies. The dead included 11 children and seven women,” local police chief
Rakibuz Zaman told AFP.
Officials said they did not know the exact number of people
missing, but said search and rescue efforts would continue through the night,
with the aid of floodlights from other ferries on the river.
Rescuers were unloading bodies from small boats some 70
kilometres from the capital Dhaka at the Paturia ferry terminal in the
country's northwest, where grieving relatives have gathered to identify them.
“We found one body but five are still missing. We were
returning home after the opening of a temple,” Hindu holy man Kumud Ranjan
Goswami said of his colleagues.
Survivors said the MV Mostofa was overcrowded with about
70-150 passengers crammed into the upper and lower decks, leaving them
scrambling to find their loved ones when the tragedy struck.
“I was holding my mother's hand when the cargo boat hit our
ferry from behind,” an 18-year-old who gave his name as Al Amin told AFP at the
terminal. “Within two minutes the ferry was sunk. Before I realised I was
washed away to the middle of the river. I swam and a ferry rescued me. But I
don’t know what happened to my mom.”