South Asia

Bangladesh: 33 Dead in Country's Worst Waterways Disaster in Over a Year

The ferry was mostly taking devotees to a Hindu temple on the occasion of Mahalaya.

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Kolkata: At least 33 people were killed and around 58 were missing after a boat packed with Hindu devotees sank on Sunday, September 25, in Bangladesh, reports said on Monday, in the worst waterways disaster to hit the country in more than a year.

Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo has reported that 16 women, 11 children and six men are among those found dead. Operations to retrieve bodies are still on.

Jahurul Islam, district administrator of northern

, where the accident occurred told Reuters that the ferry was mostly taking devotees to a Hindu temple on the occasion of Mahalaya, when Hindus make offerings to their ancestors.

Passengers estimated that more than 70 people had been on the boat, which suddenly tilted and sank in the middle of the Karatoya river.

A five-member committee has been investigating the incident, but they suspect overcrowding caused the accident, Islam said.

Police said some of the passengers managed to swim ashore or were rescued.

Islam has promised each family Tk 20,000 for funerals.

Hundreds of people die each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that has extensive inland waterways and lax safety standards.

At least 34 people died in April 2021 after an overcrowded ferry collided with a cargo vessel and sank on the Shitalakhsya River outside the capital Dhaka.