Death toll rises in Bangladesh ferry accident | News | DW | 22.02.2015
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Death toll rises in Bangladesh ferry accident

A river ferry has capsized and sunk in central Bangladesh, leaving dozens of its passengers dead or missing. Officials said a rescue operation was underway.

The ferry, the MV Mostofa, reportedly capsized and sank after being hit by a cargo vessel on the Padma River in central Bangladesh on Sunday, police and fire department officials said.

Officials said at least 65 people were confirmed dead. A number of the passengers had been saved, but others remain missing.

"Some 50 people swam ashore or were rescued by other vessels," local police chief Rakibuz Zaman told the AFP news agency.

Inspector Zihad Mia, who was overseeing the rescue operation, told The Associated Press by phone that it was unclear exactly how many had been on board the ferry when it sank, with some reports estimating the number at 150.

"We are trying to gather details from the survivors," he said.

The accident occurred some 70 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

Poor safety

Bangladesh has experienced a number of deadly ferry disasters, with overcrowding and poor safety standards often blamed.

Earlier this month, an overloaded ferry carrying some 200 people capsized in an estuary in the south of the country, killing at least five people.

Last August, another ferry capsized, also on the Padma River, leaving more than 100 people dead or missing. The vessel was carrying more than 100 passengers in excess of its authorized capacity.

tj/sms (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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