31 dead, nearly 200 missing in Bangladesh ferry crash

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A ferry packed with about 200 people collided with a cargo boat and capsized in a Bangladeshi river Tuesday, killing 36 people and leaving nearly 200 missing.

"The death toll is likely to rise as more bodies are feared trapped inside," local police chief Mohammad Shahabuddin Khan said. "We will get a better picture of the casualties once the sunken ferry is pulled out of the water."

Thirty-five people were rescued after the ferry sank early in the morning on the Meghna River, south of Dhaka. Divers recovered 31 bodies from inside the ferry, and five were found near the scene, authorities said.

Khan said the number of people missing was close to 200.

The MV Shariatpur-1 was traveling to Dhaka from neighboring Shariatpur district to the southwest. The accident site is in Munshiganj district, about 20 miles south of Dhaka.

Ferry accidents, often blamed on overcrowding, faulty vessels and lax rules, are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 160 million people.

31 dead, nearly 200 missing in Bangladesh ferry crash 03/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:38am]

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