Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 November 2009





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Bangladesh ferry disaster kills 10

At least 10 people were killed and dozens are missing after a ferry packed with over 1,000 passengers going home to celebrate Eid-ul Adha listed and partly sank in southern Bangladesh, police said.

The accident occurred Friday after midnight as the MV Coco-4, one of the country’s largest inland vessels, was coming in to a river station on Bhola island, local police chief Zakir Hossain told AFP by phone.

“It was overcrowded with over 1,000 passengers. It tilted and part of it sank due to crowd pressure as it arrived near the Nazirpur river station,” he said.Police, firefighters and locals rushed to the remote coastal village about 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Dhaka to rescue the people trapped underwater.

“So far we have rescued more than 50 people alive by cutting open lower cabins. They have been shifted to a local hospital, with the conditions of seven very critical. Scores are still trapped underwater,” said police inspector Nazrul Islam.He said at least 10 dead bodies, including four children, had been recovered.Local member of parliament Abdullah Al Islam told AFP authorities were sending a salvage vessel to lift the sunken ship to the shore.“Unless we can lift the tilted side, we can’t know how many are trapped inside. It could be more than hundred,” he said.

Police said most of the passengers managed to swim ashore after the three-deck ferry listed following a stampede.“Survivors told us that they became panicked and rushed to disembark after hearing a loud noise at the bottom deck,” said Islam.

The ferry set off from Dhaka Friday afternoon with the passengers travelling to their village homes to celebrate the three-day Eid-ul Adha festival, the second largest Muslim celebration.Boat and ferry accidents due to poor safety standards and overloading are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers.

Ahead of every major festival, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority issues warnings to ship owners not to overload ferries due to safety concerns.

But owners often ignore the warnings and overload ferries with two to three times more passengers than their capacity.Experts say most of the 2,000 large and medium-sized ferries which ply the rivers are built in local dockyards without proper safety checks.


Donate Now |
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Magazine | Junior | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright 2009 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor