At least 26 dead in ferry disaster after vessel collides with cargo ship

Dozens of people have died after a passenger ferry hit a cargo ship in Bangladesh.

At least 26 have died and more are said to have lost their lives after the collision in the Shitalakhsya River south of the capital Dhaka.

The 50-passenger ferry collided with the ship and sank on Sunday, killing numerous dead and several passengers still missing.

Twenty-one bodies were recovered on Monday. The ferry sank shortly after it left the Narayanganj industrial area, about 12 miles from Dhaka, towards Munshiganj, said Mustain Billah, district administrator of Narayanganj.

“Most of the bodies were found in the sunken boat after it was pulled to shore,” he said, adding that a few may still be missing.

Relatives mourn after several people died when a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in the Shitalakhsyaa River in Narayanganj, Bangladesh, on Sunday

Police and officials said some of the passengers managed to swim ashore.

Heartbroken relatives gathered on the riverside to search for loved ones after the tragedy.

Rescuers, including divers from the fire department, searched for survivors on Monday, while the rescue work was hampered by a storm on Sunday evening.

Relatives mourn after several people died when a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in the Shitalakhsyaa River in Narayanganj, Bangladesh, on Sunday

Divers retrieve a body from the capsized passenger ferry in the Shitalakshya River

According to Reuters news agency, the boat was full of people wanting to leave the city after the government announced a week-long nationwide lockdown starting Monday to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.

Bangladesh reported a daily record jump of 7,087 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 637,364 with 9,266 deaths.

In Bangladesh, a low-lying country with extensive inland waterways but lax safety standards, hundreds of people die in ferry accidents every year.

A crane lifts the capsized ferry out of the waters of the Shitalakkhya River in Narayanganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Last June, another passenger ferry overturned after colliding with another ship in the Buriganga River near Dhaka.

At least 32 people died when the Morning Bird capsized with 50 passengers on board. Children were among those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

According to reports, the ferry overturned frequently in the area as the ships were overcrowded and safety standards at the shipyards were poor, which contributed to the boats sinking in poor weather conditions.

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