Ferry with 100 aboard capsizes in Bangladesh

A ferry carrying about 100 people capsized after colliding with a sand-laden boat on Bangladesh's giant Meghna river today leaving scores of people missing, officials said.

'MV SM Sarash' sank in the Meghna river this morning after a sand-laden boat hit it, Badiuzzaman Badal, the President of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport and Passenger Service in Narayanganj, was quoted by local media as saying.

The ferry, carrying around 100 passengers, was on its way to Chandpur from Narayanganj when the accident took place, he said.

"Twenty passengers on board could swim ashore. Others were missing. Immediate rescue campaign was ordered," a police official said.

Meanwhile, the Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) sent a vessel called Rustom to the scene to carry out rescue efforts. Local fishermen also joined the salvage efforts.

Ferry accidents are frequent in Bangladesh. In March, 2011, 147 people were killed when a passenger vessel sank in the Meghna river after colliding with a cargo ship.

In December, 2009, 46 people drowned in Daira river in northeastern district of Kishorganj after a ferry capsized and sank.

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