Workers rescue the ferry that collided with a cargo vessel and sank on Sunday in Narayanganj, Bangladesh. Reuters
A Bangladesh ferry carrying around 50 passengers collided with a cargo vessel and sank on Sunday in the Shitalakhsya River south of the capital Dhaka, leaving at least 26 people dead and a few still missing, officials said.
Twenty one bodies had been recovered on Monday. The ferry sank just after it departed from the industrial Narayanganj district about 20 kms (12 mies) from Dhaka, to Munshiganj, said Mustain Billah, Narayanganj district administrator, according to Reuters.
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Police and officials said some of the passengers managed to swim ashore.
Relatives gathered at the river bank to search for their loved ones. Rescuers, including divers from the fire brigade, were searching for survivors on Monday while salvage operations were hampered by a storm last night.
Migrant people and workers board a passenger ferry at the Sadarghat Ferry Terminal in Dhaka. Reuters
The boat was packed with people rushing to go to their hometown after the government announced a week-long nationwide lockdown from Monday to tackle a spike in the COVID-19 cases.
The ship sank in the Shitalakshya river in central Bangladesh after it collided with another cargo vessel, just minutes after it left Narayanganj, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of the capital Dhaka.
Bangladesh reported a record daily jump of 7,087 coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking its total number of cases to 637,364 with 9,266 deaths.
Hundreds of people die each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that has extensive inland waterways but lax safety standards.
People cram on a ferry to travel back to their homes in Dhaka on Saturday. AFP
The accident took place late Saturday night at Chunti area in Chittagong district when the salt-laden truck from the coastal district of Cox's Bazar hit the passenger vehicle, said police Superintendent S.M. Rashidul Haque.
Authorities said late Monday that beyond the 18 fatalities, they had rescued 46 survivors and 30 others were still missing — meaning there were far more people on board than initially believed.
Local police official Imranul Islam provided the figure of 21 dead, speaking by phone late Friday. Survivors said about 100 people were aboard. Local news reports, quoting the area’s top government administrator, Hayat-Ud-Dola, said about 50 people were missing.
The mayor of Belgorod, Valentin Demidov, told AFP that around 5,000 people who fled border villages have registered with city authorities, with several hundred in temporary housing.
A default would have likely triggered market panic, huge job losses and a recession, with global implications.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid also dispatched a message of condolence to Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the victims of the train collision