Thursday, March 15, 2012

Death toll in ferry capsizal in Bangladesh rises to 66

"Another 35 missing bodies were recovered on Wednesday which takes the number of total death toll to 66," Mohammad Shahabuddin Khan, Police chief in Munshiganj district, told Xinhua.He said the ferry, carrying on board about 200 passengers on the Meghna River in Munshiganj, some 27 km southeast of capital Dhaka, sank in about 70 feet of water at about 02:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday following a collision with cargo ship carrying oil.Although he could not tell about the exact number of ill-fated missing passengers about 34 hours after the capsizal, he said divers are still searching for more bodies inside the ferry MV Shariatpur-1 which was partially lifted.

The ferry services never maintain the list of passengers and none can exactly say how many passengers a ferry carries.Three separate committees have already been formed to investigate the tragic accident.Boats and ferries are still commonly used as key means of transportation in Bangladesh which is criss-crossed by about 250 rivers. However, the vessels are often overloaded or badly maintained, and accidents are commonplace.At least 33 bodies were recovered after a ferry capsized in Bangladesh's Brahmanbaria district, some 109 km northeast of capital Dhaka, in April last year.