Bangladesh Ferry Capsizes, Death Toll Rises to 110
At least 100 people are reported dead and more remain missing after a ferry sunk in Bangladesh yesterday with about 200 passengers onboard. The crowded Shariatpur 1 capsized after being struck by an oil barge while crossing the Meghna River, about 25 miles southeast of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.
There was an immediate confirmed death total of 36 on Tuesday following the accident. Divers have now recovered 74 more bodies, bringing the current death toll to 110 victims. The double-decker ferry sunk to the river’s bottom after being hit in the early morning hours, around 2:30 a.m. Only about 30 of the 200 people onboard were able to swim ashore after the sinking. As of now, 40 of the 110 bodies have been identified and their bodies have been released to family members.
Two rescue vessels were able to lift the sunken ferry from the river bed and make its way towards shore, where it was kept for several hours. It was then lifted from the water completely in the late afternoon.
According to Fox News, the exact number of people on the ferry was uncertain as manifest lists are seldom maintained properly in Bangladesh and many travelers buy their tickets when on board. Hundreds of families and friends of the missing are waiting at the edge of the river for another day, and survivors have begun telling their recap of the chaos.
The Inland Water Transport Authority said the vessel, which was built in 1991, appeared to have sunk rapidly after the collision. An investigation has been ordered. Overcrowded and unregulated ferries often run in to trouble on low-lying Bangladesh's extensive network of rivers and waterways. Hundreds of people are killed in accidents every year, reports Reuters.