25 killed in boat accident in Bangladesh, say police

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Rescue and fire service personnel carry the body of a victim after recovering it during rescue works.
Rescue and fire service personnel carry the body of a victim after recovering it during rescue works.
Munir Uz zaman, AFP

At least 25 people were killed in a collision between two boats in central Bangladesh on Monday, police said.

"We have rescued five people and retrieved 25 bodies," said local police chief Miraz Hossain.

The collision was between a packed boat carrying at least 30 passengers and a vessel transporting sand in the Padma river near the town of Shibchar.

PICS | At least 32 die in Bangladesh ferry accident

More people were reportedly missing while fire service officials and locals continued rescue operations, another policeman said.

Maritime accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers.

Experts blame poor maintenance, lax safety standards at shipyards and overcrowding for many of the accidents.

Vessels transporting sand sit low in the water and can be hard to see in choppy conditions, particularly when light is poor.

In April, more than 30 people died when a packed ferry with around 50 passengers hurrying home from Narayanganj ahead of an impending coronavirus lockdown collided with a larger cargo vessel.

In June 2020, a ferry sank in Dhaka after it was hit from behind by another ferry, killing at least 32 people.

In February 2015, at least 78 people died when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo boat.

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