Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dozens missing as ferry sinks in Banglatrash

The wooden vessel was ferrying passengers close to the town of Gazaria in the central Munshiganj district Friday when it collided at around 8:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) with a barge. Some passengers swam to safety but many others remain unaccounted for, said officials involved in the rescue effort, with between 40 and 50 people believed to be missing. Around 25 people reportedly swam to shore
The exact number of passengers was unknown as passenger lists are not properly maintained in Bangladesh, and many people purchase their tickets on board. Hundreds of people are killed in accidents every year despite the government's vow to crack down on unlicensed operators
Naval officials have said more than 95% of Bangladesh's hundreds of small and medium-sized vessels, many of which predate the country's 1971 independence, do not meet minimum safety regulations

An overcrowded wooden ferry in Banglatrash
News report here.