Dhaka Ferry Disaster: 22 Dead With Hundreds Still Missing

A ferry carrying at least 200 people capsizes on a river during a storm in Bangladesh; a number of bodies have been recovered, police say.

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Barely One Month After The South Korea Ferry Disaster That Claimed About 300 Lives, A Bangladeshi Ferry Carrying 200 Passengers Onboard Has Capsized In A River Near Dhaka Late Thursday Evening

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Authorities in Bangladesh say a ferry carrying at least 200 people has capsized near the capital. District government official Saiful Hasan told reporters that the vessel was traveling Thursday from Shariatpur to Dhaka on the Meghna River in Munshiganj district when it sank.

Rescue vessel are seen during the night where a ferry capsized and sank during bad weather on the Meghna river in the Munshiganj district, Bangladesh

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The ferry overturned in high winds on the Meghna river in Munshiganj district, south of the capital, Dhaka. Ferry accidents are common on Bangladesh's vast river network and scores are killed every year. Such incidents are often blamed on overcrowding and poor quality of the boats, which are the main form of travel in some rural parts of the country.

About 22 Bodies Have Been Recovered So Far But Police Say They Fear The Death Toll Will Rise

Bangladeshi boatmen bring the bodies of two passengers of a ferry that capsized and sank in bad weather ashore on the river Meghna in Munshiganj district near Dhaka

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Divers recovered 10 more bodies from a sunken ferry in Bangladesh Friday, bringing the death toll to 22, with scores more feared to have perished, police and officials said. Officials said their first attempt to raise the MV Miraz, which was carrying up to 200 passengers, off the floor of the 50 foot-deep (17-metre-deep) river bed had failed.

PHOTO: Hundreds Of Local Residents Gathered On The Bank Of The River To Wait For News Of The Missing Passengers

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According To Saiful Hassan Badal, A Local Government Official, There Seems To Be Some Confusion Regarding The Exact Number Of Passengers Onboard The Ferry

Saiful Hassan Badal, a local government official, said there were "confusing figures" on how many passengers were on board when the ship sank, but he said the number could range from "200 to 350."

Shamsuddoha Khandaker, Bangladesh Water Transport Authority Chief, Said Up To 40 People Were Able To Swim To Safety Or Were Rescued By Fishing Boats Before The Ferry Went Down

A man, who made it ashore swimming through the waves of the Meghna during a nor'wester, wails as his brother who was travelling with him in the ill-fated launch was missing and feared dead

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"Many of the passengers rushed to lower decks of the ship to escape from heavy wind. They were trapped. I am afraid most of the bodies will be found there," Bangladesh's water transport authority chief Shamsuddoha Khandaker told AFP. "The death toll now stands at 22, including 12 women and children," he added. The local police chief Ferdous Ahmed confirmed the death toll.

According To Abdur Rahman, A Passenger Who Managed To Swim Ashore, Boatswain Ignored Other Passengers Request To Anchor The Ferry Following The Storm

Relatives look for missing realtives from the sunken ferry

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"There was a sudden storm and we requested the boatswain to anchor at the riverside but he ignored us the ferry capsized within a few seconds," said Abdur Rahman, 50, a passenger who managed to swim to safety.

A Navy Ship, A Salvage Vessel And About A Dozen Speedboats Are Searching For Survivors Of The Ferry, Which Is Completely Under Water

People look on as the rescue operation to find survivors continues.

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A navy ship, a salvage vessel and about a dozen speedboats were pictured helping with rescue efforts at the scene of the incident. But the width of the river, the depth of the water and the strong currents were hampering the search, officials added.

"The ferry is completely under water. We are now trying to locate it," Ahmed told AFP, adding that a salvage vessel and fire service divers were headed to the spot from the capital. He said the navy and coast guard were sending rescue teams and a ship had been sent from Dhaka.

GALLERY: Pictures Of Victims And Their Relatives

A policeman carries a dead body after the ferry accident in Munshiganj district, Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 15, 2014

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A women cries after she identified her child near the site of a ferry accident in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, May 15, 2014

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Local people carry bodies after the ferry accident in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, May 15, 2014

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Relatives identify the bodies after the ferry accident in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, May 15, 2014

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Relatives gather on the river bank as they wait for rescue operations

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Ferry Accidents Are Common In Bangladesh, It's Criss-Crossed With More Than 230 Rivers. Poorly Maintained Vessels, Flaws In Design And Overcrowding Are Cause For Most Of The Tragedies.

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Storms known locally as Kalboishakhi often hit Bangladesh during the early summer months in the lead-up to the monsoon, which generally begins in the first week of June. Boats are the main form of travel in much of Bangladesh's remote rural areas, especially in the southern and northeastern regions.

In March 2012, more than 112 people died when a ferry on the wide and fast-moving Meghna river collided with an oil tanker and sank. The authorities have been repeatedly criticised for failing to honour their pledges to tackle lax safety standards.

Read About The South Korea Ferry Disaster

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