Police bring to shore the bodies of passengers killed in
the ferry capsize. REUTERS/Stringer
A Bangladeshi river ferry with around 200 passengers on
board has capsized in a storm, killing at least 12 people, and
a rescue diver said he had seen more bodies inside the wreck.
Police said some 40 people had swum ashore as the M.V.
Miraj-4 capsized in high winds and rain on the Meghna river
near the capital Dhaka. Most of the passengers were city
workers and students heading home for the weekend.
"We fear there will be more bodies inside the vessel and we
cannot be sure of the number of passengers (on board),"
Saiful Hassan Badal, Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj
district, told Reuters by telephone from the scene.
Bangladesh has a history of ferry disasters, with casualties
sometimes running into hundreds due to overcrowding and lack
of enforcement of safety standards such as numbers of
Bangladesh Coast Guard diver Liton said he had pulled out the
body of a child of around five and had seen several more
bodies in the ferry.
Some survivors were able to swim ashore despite strong
currents and high waves.
"There was a sudden storm and we requested the boatswain to
anchor at the riverside but he ignored us ... the ferry
capsized within a few seconds," said Abdur Rahman, 50, a
passenger who managed to swim ashore.
A rescue vessel sent from Dhaka reached the scene three hours
after the capsize.
Twelve bodies had been recovered so far, including those of
women and children, said Oliur Rahman, a police officer at