5 dead as small passenger ferry capsizes in Bangladesh

   Apr 25, 12:05 pm

Dhaka, Apr 25 (Xinhua-ANI): At least five bodies were retrieved after a small ferry with dozens of passengers on board capsized in a river in Bangladesh's Kishoreganj district, some 117 km northeast of the capital Dhaka, on Wednesday morning, police said.

"Five bodies have so far been recovered from the ferry which capsized in Bowlai River," Jahangir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Mithamoin police station in Kishorganj, told Xinhua over phone from the accident site.

He said that many passengers were able to swim ashore after the accident at about 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday but could not tell immediately about the exact number of the missing passengers.

A rescue vessel has been called in to boost local efforts to salvage the ferry, Hossain said.

The reason behind the sinking, however, could not be immediately known but the police official said it was excessively overloaded.

Estimates varied as to how many people were on board the ferry. Hossain put the number at close to 20, while another official who preferred to be unnamed said about 50 people were on board.

The ferry services in Bangladesh never maintain list of passenger and none can exactly say how many passengers a ferry carries.

Ferry and boat disasters are common in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by about 250 rivers. Ferry is still a key means of transport in the country. Most of them are often overcrowded.

At least 112 bodies were recovered after a ferry capsized in Bangladesh's central Munshiganj district last month. (Xinhua-ANI)

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