On Sunday a tragic accident occurred in Bangladesh, when a ferry carrying approximately 150 people collided with a cargo ship and killed 66 people as of Monday morning. Rescuers are still out in the waters searching for bodies.
In an interview with Aljeezera, inspector Abdul Muktadir says, “Most of the new bodies were found in the boat after it was raised and dragged to the shore.”
Sundays disaster has been one of the deadliest in recent months for the country, which has a high number of ferry accidents.
The twin deck vessel was reportedly headed to Paturia in the Manikganj district when it capsized in the middle of the river. About 50 people swam to shore or were rescued by other vessels.
Local newspapers quoted one survivor, Hafizur Rahman, as saying the cargo ship hit the ferry 15 minutes after departure, causing it to overturn and trapping many passengers.
“I was on the deck of the ferry and fell into the river. Those who were on the deck were able to come out but none of the passengers inside could get out.”
Accounting for all the passengers has become a challenge. because Bangladeshi ferries do not keep passenger lists, making it difficult to establish exactly how many people are missing after an accident.
It was reported by the Guardian that more than half of the 66 deceased passengers were woman and children. The regional police stated that 43 passengers were found inside the ferry, and 23 had been recovered from the water earlier in the day on Sunday. The search for bodies inside the ferry still continues, so the number of deceased may change as the recovery effort continues.
Bangladesh is a low-lying country with extensive inland waterways and a poor safety record. This leads to frequent ferry accidents that often result in a significant loss of life.
On February 11, a similar accident happened in southern Bangladesh on a ferry carrying 200 passengers. Seven people were killed, including one minor. Experts blame these tragedies on poorly maintained vessels, flaws in design, and overcrowding. Naval officials have stated that 95 percent of Bangladesh’s hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations.
The Inquisitr previously reported that in August of last year, a ferry with a capacity of 85 passengers was carrying more than 200 when it capsized, leaving more than 100 people dead or missing.
Some 150 people were killed in March, 2012, after an overcrowded ferry carrying about 200 passengers sank after being hit by an oil barge in the middle of the night.
An investigative committee has been formed to look into accident on the ferry. A decision is expected to be announced within seven days.
[Photo courtesy of Reuters]