Dozens dead, many missing as Bangladesh ferry sinks

By Nizam Ahmed - Reuters


A ferry carrying more than 100 people capsized in Bangladesh Thursday after colliding with another vessel, killing at least 28 people, police said.

The death toll was expected to rise with some passengers believed trapped inside the ferry and dozens missing, rescuers said.

Hundreds of people die in ferry accidents on low-lying Bangladesh's many rivers every year as operators often ignore rules that authorities fail to enforce.

"Divers are trying to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ferry," a senior police official, Zahurul Islam Khan, told Reuters from the scene before the rescue operations were suspended for the night.

The ferry, M. L. Bipasha, sank after it hit the cargo vessel, which had already capsized a few days earlier, on the Meghna river at Rajapur, 130 km (80 miles) northeast of the capital Dhaka.

Around 40 people jumped off the ferry and swam to the shore after the accident.

"I woke up hearing a big bang and jumped immediately into the water, then swam ashore," a survivor told a television network.

But the ferry, which was sailing from Bhairab -- near the accident spot -- to northeast, sank with the rest of passengers after the collision, local officials said.


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Bangladesh Ferry M. L. Bipasha Meghna river Rajapur Dhaka