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35 feared dead after boat capsizes

A boat packed with passengers has capsized on a river in north-eastern Bangladesh, and rescuers said at least 37 people died and 18 more were reported missing.

The boat carrying about 80 people collided with a sand-laden cargo vessel in the darkness late on Saturday on the River Surma, local government officials Abul Hashem and Matiur Rahman said.

They spoke at the scene of the accident in Sunamganj district, about 110 miles north east of the capital, Dhaka.

Some survivors swam to shore or were rescued by villagers. Rescuers recovered 35 bodies and used torchlights to search for about 20 people reported missing, the two officials said.

All the dead were from the passenger boat. Dhaka's Prothom Alo newspaper reported most were women and children.

The boat was travelling from Sunamganj to the neighbouring Kishoreganj district.

Boat accidents, blamed on lax rules and unfit vessels, are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of more than 230 rivers.


From Belfast Telegraph