Bangladesh ferry disaster: Overcrowding blamed for dozens of deaths

The death toll rose to 61 when a boat carrying Hindu pilgrims overwhelmed and capsized on Sunday, with many passengers still missing.

Bangladeshi authorities blame overcrowding ferry sinks This has killed at least 61 people, with many passengers still missing two days after the disaster.

Jahurul Islam, chief administrative officer for the northern region of Panchagarh, said a five-member committee was investigating Sunday’s accident and initial reports suggested the ship was carrying almost three times its capacity.

“Divers are looking for more bodies because some are still missing,” he said, adding that so far the bodies of 28 women and 18 children have been recovered.

Bystanders watched in horror from the shore near the town of Panchagarboda as the boat full of Hindu devotees capsized on its way to a popular temple on the Karatoya River.

While some passengers managed to swim ashore or were rescued, about 10 people were still missing, police said. Passengers said there were more than 80 people on board.

Rescuers, including firefighters, navy divers and villagers, were searching for miles down the river, Boda police chief Sujay Kumar Roy said.

Relatives of victims killed in boat tragedy on Karotoya River [Firoz Al Sabah/AFP]

Witnesses said bystanders and relatives of the missing gathered on the banks of the river as rescuers searched for the bodies.

“I just want to see my mother’s face,” Deepak Chandra Roy said tearfully as he searched for her mother.

“Three women in my family have been missing since the boat capsized,” said Bikash Chandra, a distraught relative. “We found one around 10am and were rescued earlier. But I haven’t found the other two.”

It was the country’s worst shipwreck death toll since 2015, when an overcrowded ferry collided with a cargo ship in a river west of the capital Dhaka, killing at least 78 people.

In Bangladesh, a low-lying country with vast inland waterways and lax safety standards, dozens of people die every year in ferry accidents.

In May, at least 26 people were killed when an overcrowded speedboat collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank in the Padma River.

In December last year, some 40 people A crowded three-decker ferry has died when it caught fire in southern Bangladesh.

A ferry sinks in Dhaka June 2020 At least 32 people were killed after it collided with another boat. Meanwhile, in 2015, an overcrowded boat collided with a cargo ship in a river west of the capital, killing at least 78 people.

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