At least 29 people have died as a result of a passenger ship overturning in the Buriganga River, near the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, the Bengal authorities reported Monday, fearing that the balance will increase in the coming hours.
Rescue divers have found fifteen dead bodies adrift more than two hours after the ferry sank in the Buriganda River, spokesman for the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), Mohamad Shahjahan.
Divers from the Navy, fire brigade and civil defense department have managed to locate the remains of the sunken ship at the bottom of the river and 14 other submerged bodies have been rescued there.
The ferry capsized after colliding with another passenger ship this Monday morning near the city of Farazganj, said Golam Sadeq, director of BIWTA. According to Sadeq, a rescue ship has been deployed to retrieve the sunken ship, which is located at a depth of about six meters.
A video recorded by a witness of the events shows the ferry colliding with another boat of greater length, capsizing and sinking in less than ten seconds. Sadeq said authorities have seized the largest ferry the commander escaped after the collision. After the crash, thousands of people have come to the banks of the river to participate in the rescue efforts, many of them looking for their missing relatives.
Between ten and fifteen passengers of the overturned ferry, the ‘ML Morning Bird’, managed to swim to the riverbank and the rest of the passengers are not mentioned.
BITWA has said there were at least 50 passengers on the ship, although a shipwreck survivor told 71 Television that the ship had at least 100 people on board.
This survivor said that he traveled to Dhaka with his missing brother. They left their hometown, in the central district of Munshiganj, about 30 kilometers south of the capital of Bangladesh.
Shipwrecks and fatal marine and ship incidents are a fairly common phenomenon in Bangladesh, a country full of rivers. Experts attribute the high number of accidents in river channels to poor safety measures and a lack of regulations.