Death toll in Bangladesh boat capsize mounts to 51

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Another 26 bodies were recovered on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 51 from 25…reports Asian Lite News

At least 51 people have died after a boat capsized in a northern Bangladesh district, a senior police officer said.

S.M. Sirajul Huda, Superintendent of Panchagarh District Police, told Xinhua that 26 more bodies were retrieved from the Karatoya river in Bangladesh’s northern Panchagarh district, 468 km away from the capital Dhaka, on Monday.

According to the officer, the jam-packed boat, carrying some 100 passengers, sank on Sunday afternoon, Xinhua news agency reported.

Another 26 bodies were recovered on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 51 from 25, the officer told Xinhua over phone on Monday evening.

“The boat overturned and sank due to overloading,” said the officer.

TV images from the scene showed dozens of bodies in white bags which were retrieved from the river on Monday.

The boat has already been dragged to the river bank, where many were waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be retrieved from the water.

The police officer added that rescuers had been working against a strong current and choppy river waters, adding that a search was underway as several passengers were still believed to be missing.

Boat accidents in Bangladesh are common due to laxity in safety standards and overloading.

As Bangladesh lies on the lower course of mighty rivers – the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra, the country is crisscrossed by 230 rivers. Notably, around 37 persons drowned in December last year after a passenger ferry hit a cargo ship and sank.

At least 85 people drowned in November when an overloaded triple-decker ferry capsized off Bhola Island in the country’s south.

A week later another boat sank leaving 46 people dead. So far this year, dozens of people have been killed in several smaller boat accidents in Bangladesh.

Naval officials have said more than 95 per cent of Bangladesh’s hundreds of thousands of small- and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations and millions of people in Bangladesh rely on boats and ferries to travel to the capital or the delta nation’s major cities, The Daily Star reported. (IANS/ANI)

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