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Asia-Pacific

Bangladesh ferry tragedy toll reaches 32

media A Bangladesh ferry carrying more than 1,000 people capsized in November … Reuters

The death toll following a ferry accident in the east of Bangladesh rose to 32 on Friday, with more bodies expected to be recovered after rescue workers managed to raise to sunken vessel.

The MV Bipasha on Thursday collided with the wreck of a cargo ship that had sunk a few days earlier in the river Meghna at Sarail, 90 kilometres from Dhaka.

Local media said 200 people were on board the vessel, most of them asleep, when the collision happened.

Local police recovered five more bodies on Friday after the search operation was suspended late on Thursday due to poor visibility.

On Friday afternoon a salvage vessel had succeeded in raising the ferry from the riverbed and emergency workers were scouring the site for more bodies.

Boats are the main form of inter-district travel in Bangladesh’s remote rural areas, but accidents are common owing to lax safety standards and overloading.

More than 150 people have died in the last six months in ferry accidents.

Naval officers have said that 95 per cent of Bangladesh’s hundreds of thousands of small and medium size boats do not meet minimum safety regulations.

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