Ferry sinks in Bangladesh; 28 dead, more missing

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2011 10:08 AM
Ferry sinks in Bangladesh; 28 dead, more missing

A crowded ferry carrying about 100 passengers capsized in a river in eastern Bangladesh on Thursday, leaving at least 28 people dead and more feared missing, a police official said.

Local police chief Jamil Ahmed said villagers and rescuers plucked 28 bodies from the River Meghna in Brahmanbaria.

Many survivors were able to swim ashore, but the number of missing was unclear, he said. The head crew member survived, as did some guards on the ferry.

The boat apparently went down after hitting the wreckage of another cargo ferry that sunk a few days ago during a storm, Ahmed said.

By Thursday evening, rescuers stopped their search for the day to resume on Friday, he said.

But many people still waited on the riverbank for the missing.

Forty-year-old Din Islam said his wife and five relatives were on the ferry and he feared all of them died.

"I have lost all of them, found two bodies, I want them all," Islam said as he sobbed.

Survivors said the ferry was overcrowded and it sank very quickly after a big jerk when most passengers were asleep early Thursday.

Ahmed said police would investigate the accident, which took place about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of the capital, Dhaka.

Ferry accidents, often blamed on overcrowding and lax rules, are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of 150 million people.