02/19/2009, 00.00
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Bangladesh: ferry and cargo boat collide. A hundred missing

The tragedy occurred on the Kirtankhola River to the south of the nation. The number of missing is set to rise; many passengers were without tickets and not on the passenger list. The cargo ship had been sequestered.

Dhaka (AsiaNews/Agencies) – About a hundred people are still missing following the collision between a ferry and cargo ship in southern Bangladesh.  The incident occurred on the Kirtankhola River in Barisal district, circa 170 km from Dhaka.

Rescuers found the body of one woman while about 50 passengers managed to swim ashore after the accident.  A dense fog on the Kirtankhola River is holding up rescue efforts.

Local officials said the cargo vessel had been seized and efforts were under way to locate the sunken ferry amid fears it may still be carrying trapped passengers. Reports on the number of passengers range from 60 to 150, but there is confusion as to the exact number of passengers.  The ferry was travelling from Barisal to Mehendiganj. Ten people are being treated in hospital for injuries.

Ferry accidents kill hundreds of people and leave many unaccounted for in Bangladesh every year; but official figures are difficult to estimate given that many people travel without tickets leading to severe overloading.  Families of the victims are not compensated.


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