Twenty six dead as ferry sinks in Buriganga
Friday, 29 February 2008

Member of a rescue team holds the body of a childStaff Correspondent

At least 26 passengers including women and children died after a launch bound for Munshiganj sank in the river Buriganga Thursday, police said.

Rescuers of the Fire Service and Civil Defence launched an operation to retrieve the dead from the waters.

About 150 passengers were aboard the vessel, Sourav-1, the police told

The launch rammed into a sand-laden trawler and capsized, South Keraniganj police chief Syed Selim Sajjad told by phone.

The police seized the trawler.

The accident took place shortly after 3pm off the first Buriganga Bridge. Faruque Hossain, a policeman who was on the Keraniganj side of the river when the accident occurred, said he had seen about 70 people jump off the vessel and swim to safety.

Among the dead, 11 people were women and five were children. The death toll is feared to rise, the police said. Hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the river as the tragedy unfolded, correspondents report from the scene.

Assistant superintendent of police Noor Ahmed, who was on the scene to coordinate the rescue operations, said the death count had climbed to 26. Home affairs adviser MA Matin and home secretary Abdul Karim set out for the site of the accident.

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