Bangladesh ferry accident kills at least 26


DHAKA (Reuters) – A Bangladeshi ferry carrying about 50 passengers collided with a cargo ship and sank on Sunday in the Shitalakhsya River south of the capital Dhaka, leaving at least 26 people dead and some missing, authorities said. .

On Monday 21 bodies were recovered. The ferry sank just after leaving the Narayanganj industrial district, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Dhaka, to Munshiganj, said Mustain Billah, the Narayanganj district administrator.

“Most of the bodies were found inside the sunken boat after it was washed ashore,” he said, adding that some may still be missing.

Police and authorities said some of the passengers managed to swim to shore.

Relatives gathered on the river bank to search for their loved ones. Rescue teams, including divers from the fire department, were searching for survivors on Monday, while rescue operations were hampered by a storm last night.

The ship was packed with people rushing out of the city after the government announced a week-long nationwide lockdown from Monday to address a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Bangladesh reported a record daily increase of 7,087 coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing its total number of cases to 637,364 with 9,266 deaths.

Hundreds of people are killed each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a lowland country that has extensive inland waterways but lax safety standards.

Report by Ruma Paul; Editing by Michael Perry and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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