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Bangladesh Ferry Sinks, Killing More Than 30

  • VOA News

Bangladesh bystanders carry the body of a ferry accident victim at Manikganj about 40 kilometers west of Dhaka, Feb. 22, 2015.

Bangladesh bystanders carry the body of a ferry accident victim at Manikganj about 40 kilometers west of Dhaka, Feb. 22, 2015.

At least 31 people are dead and dozens of passengers are missing after a river ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank Sunday afternoon in Bangladesh, police said.

Authorities said they did not know the exact number of people missing, but said search-and-rescue efforts will continue through the night. Ferries in Bangladesh usually do not maintain formal passenger lists.

Authorities say more than 50 people swam to shore or were pulled from the Padma river after the ferry capsized and sank about 40 kilometers northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

Rescuers said at least 31 people, including nearly a dozen children, died.

But survivors said the ferry was carrying about 100 passengers when it capsized in the middle of the Padma river, local police said.

A passenger who survived said many people got trapped inside the ferry, which sank within minutes of the accident.

"The passengers who were on the deck have survived, but many who were inside got trapped," Hafizur Rahman Sheikh said in a local newspaper, reported by The Associated Press.

Boat capsizings are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by more than 130 rivers. Experts blame poorly maintained vessels, flaws in design and overcrowding for most of the tragedies.

Some material for this report came from Reuters, AP and AFP.

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