Sinking of a ferry in Bangladesh with 200 people leaving a dead and hundreds injured

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An overloaded ferry carrying 200 passengers in a river in central Bangladesh sank Monday, said the emergency services who confirmed two dead and one hundred survivors. «The ferry was carrying too many passengers and the river was rough,» said AFP chief of the local police, Tofazzal Hossain.

The wreck occurred about 30 km from Dhaka, the capital. The head of the district police Madaripur, whence came the boat, said carrying 170 to 200 passengers. But a survivor named Sonam told local television that perhaps there were more than 350 people in the boat.

«There was no storm but the sky was overcast and the troubled waters. The waves were huge, «he said. «Suddenly, the ferry hit by a wave and began taking on water. I escaped through the window. The ferry sank quickly and I rescued a small motor boat, «said the witness.

Monsoon rains push up water in August and the ship was completely submerged.

«Our divers locate the wrecked ferry and launch rescue operations,» he told AFP a responsible firefighter, Mohammad Dulal. Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh. According to official figures, more than 95% of small transport ships do not meet safety standards.

Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in Asia, has more than 230 rivers and inland waterways is the first transport system, particularly in the south and northeast.

In May the sinking of a ferry in the Meghna River, one of the longest in the world, left dozens dead.

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