Bangladesh ferry capsizes with 200 aboard


Dhaka - A ferry with about 200 passengers aboard capsized on Monday in the river Padma south-west of Dhaka and rescue teams took about half of them to safety, the chief of the district administration said.

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Mohammad Saiful Hasan Badal, Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj district, said about 100 passengers had been rescued from the vessel, identified as the MV Pinak-6. No deaths had yet been reported.

Teams from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, fire brigade and the army were engaged in the rescue operation about 30km south-west of Dhaka.

“Most of the passengers were coming back to the city from home after celebrating Eid ul-Fitr,” Saiful told Reuters, referring to the festival marking the end of the Ramadaan fasting month.

A similar capsize occurred in May, when 54 bodies were recovered from a vessel that went down with around 200 people on board.

Low-lying Bangladesh, with extensive inland waterways and slack safety standards, has an appalling record of ferry accidents, with casualties sometimes running into the hundreds.

Overcrowding is a common factor in many of the accidents and each time the government vows to toughen regulations.

In March 2012, a ferry sank near the same spot, killing at least 145 people. - Reuters

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