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Bangladesh ferry dragged from river, death toll at 110

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:47 GMT
Author: Reuters
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DHAKA, March 14 (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi ferry that sank after hitting an oil barge was salvaged on Wednesday along with scores of bodies, taking the toll from the country's latest ferry disaster to 110 with dozens of people missing, rescue workers and government officials said.

The Dhaka-bound MV Shariatpur-1, carrying more than 250 people, capsized early on Tuesday in the Meghna river, about 50 km (30 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka.

About 80 passengers managed to swim ashore or were picked up by boats soon after the accident, officials and media said.

Rescue vessels found the ferry in about 70 feet (20 metres) of water and managed to pull it to the river bank on Wednesday. Some victims floated up as the boat was raised.

"Bodies popped out one after another," said witness Abdul Barek.

Wailing relatives milled about on the bank as the ferry was dragged to shore.

The death toll stood at 35 on Tuesday and 75 more bodies were recovered on Wednesday, rescue officials said.

Senior district official Azizul Alam told reporters that according to information from relatives, at least 61 people were missing.

Overcrowded and unregulated ferries often run in to trouble on low-lying Bangladesh's extensive network of rivers and waterways. Hundreds of people are killed in accidents every year. (Reporting by Anis Ahmed and Serajul Quadir; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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