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Captain Charged in Deadly Bangladesh Ferry Disaster

  • VOA News

A Bangladeshi boy cries for his mother, missing after a ferry they were travelling in capsized in the River Padma in Munshiganj district, Aug. 5, 2014.

Authorities in Bangladesh filed criminal charges on Wednesday against the captain of a ferry that capsized earlier this week, as rescuers called off the search for more than 125 passengers still missing three days after the disaster.

The overloaded M. V. Pinak had more than twice the number of passengers it was rated for when it sank in rough weather on Monday along the Padma River.

The ferry's owner and four others also face negligence charges. Authorities said ferry operators ignored a ban on sailing the swollen river and allowed more than 200 passengers onto the vessel, which was certified to carry 85.

Around 100 passengers survived the sinking.

Weak safety standards and overcrowding are often cited in the poor track record of Bangladesh's ferries, which are a common form of transportation in a country with hundreds of waterways.

In May, about 50 people died in a ferry accident in the same district.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.