350 Feared Dead in Bangladeshi Ferry Disaster
About 350 people were feared drowned when a double-decker ferry capsized Saturday in choppy waters in southern Bangladesh. A desperate search by survivors in small boats lasted late into the night.
The ferry was carrying 400 passengers, double its authorized load. It overturned and sank at the confluence of two rivers as it neared the port of Chandpur, 40 miles south of Dhaka, the capital, United News of Bangladesh said.
After officials suspended the search until dawn today, many of the 60 survivors who swam to shore got into small boats and frantically searched for relatives and friends with flashlights and lanterns.
No bodies were found, said Mohammad Akbar Ali, Chandpur’s police chief.
The ship sank after it was caught in a whirlpool caused by the confluence of the Meghna River and the smaller Dakatia River. Both rivers were overflowing because of the monthlong monsoon rains.