At least 70 dead as Bangladesh ferry sinks with 200 aboard

Ferry sinks in Bangladesh; dozens are dead and many missing.

At least 70 bodies, including those of 11 children, were pulled from a river in central Bangladesh on Sunday after a ferry carrying more than 200 passengers was struck by a cargo ship and capsized, officials said.

The ferry sank in the Padma River, about 25 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka. Emergency crews and naval police had rescued at least 60 passengers by Sunday evening, officials said, but many passengers were still missing.

“We are continuing our search for the missing passengers,” said Rakibuzzaman, the police officer in charge.

Officials said 56 of the bodies recovered had been handed over to their families.

The accident occurred around noon when the cargo vessel, named Nargis-1, hit the Mostafa ferry in Manikganj district, according to police officials. Authorities arrested the captain of the cargo vessel and his assistant.

It was the latest deadly ferry accident to occur in low-lying Bangladesh, one of South Asia’s most impoverished nations, where ship operators are routinely criticized for safety failures. Earlier this month, a ferry capsized after striking an underwater dune on the Paira River in southern Bangladesh, leaving at least five people dead.

Ferry captains are often accused of carrying more passengers than allowed. Last August, authorities arrested the captain of a ferry that sank while carrying more than 200 passengers along the Padma River, accusing him of overloading the vessel and operating without a valid license. More than 110 people died in the incident.

Kader is a special correspondent. Times staff writer Bengali reported from Mumbai, India.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

8:29 p.m.: This article was updated with an increase in the death toll.

9:24 a.m.: This article was updated with the death toll rising to 49.

5:26 a.m.: This article was updated with a death toll of 40.

4:32 a.m.: This article was updated with a higher death toll.

3:57 a.m.: This article was updated with a higher death toll.

3:11 a.m.: This article was updated with a death toll.

This article was first posted at 12:03 a.m.

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