New Delhi: At least 23 people were killed and several others went missing after a boat capsized in Karatoya river in Bangladesh on Sunday. “We have recovered 23 bodies. Firefighters and divers are searching for more bodies,” news agency AFP reported local police official Shafiqul Islam as saying.
The bodies recovered so far included women and children, said Jahurul Islam, district administrator of northern Panchagarh, where the accident took place. “The rescue operation for those missing is underway,” he said.
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According to the report, Islam said although the exact number of people missing is yet to be ascertained, passengers said that more than 70 people had been on board.
As per reports, the boat was packed with pilgrims who were on their way to a centuries-old temple, when the vessel suddenly tipped over and sank in the middle of the Karatoya river near the town of Boda in northern Bangladesh.
It is to be noted that ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying country, crisscrossed by rivers but have lax safety standards.
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In a similar incident in May, at least 26 people died after an overcrowded speedboat collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank on the Padma River.
In June 2020, a ferry capsized in Dhaka after a collision with another vessel, killing at least 32 people. In August of the same year, 17 people died after a boat sank in Madan upazila of Netrakona.
Before that in February 2015, at least 78 people were killed when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo vessel in a river in Bangladesh.