Over 50 missing, many injured in Bangladesh ferry collision

September 30th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Sep 30 (Xinhua) More than fifty people were missing and several injured as two passenger ferries collided in a river in southern Bangladesh early Tuesday, a senior official said. The accident took place at around 3 a.m. in the Bhoga river in Patuakhali district, about 200 km south from Dhaka, when two overcrowded ferries collided head-on, said Sanjoy Chakrabarty, chief executive officer of Dhumki sub-district.

Several passengers on board the double decker ferry Manik were injured when it was hit by another double-decker boat, Chakrabarty said, adding that neither of the boats sank after the collision.

He quoted the eyewitnesses as saying that the scared passengers jumped into the river, and more than 50 people went missing.

The exact figure of the people missing or injured was not available right now, the official said.

However, iTV channel put the figure of missing people at over 100.

Chakrabarty said injured passengers were rushed to different hospitals of the district.

According to him, the rescue operation was not yet started because of the strong current of the river.

The passengers on board the boats were heading for their homes to be with their families ahead of the Muslim festival Eid-ul-Fitr that falls Oct 1 or 2 depending on the sighting of the new moon.

In Bangladesh, ferries usually run in a packed condition on the eve of festivals, carrying passengers several times more than their capacity, risking people’s lives.

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