While the nation mourned for the hundreds killed in the launch disaster. Awami League party members were seen in truck convoys celebrating to band music.
Dozens Dead After Ferry Capsizes in Bangladesh
By NIKHILA GILL and SRUTHI GOTTIPATI
New York Times
Published: March 13, 2012
Photos by Abir Abdullah/EPA
NEW DELHI — Rescuers were searching for survivors on Tuesday after a ferry carrying as many as 200 passengers capsized in Bangladesh, killing at least 24 people with many more feared dead.
The ferry, the MV-Shariatpur-1, was traveling along the Meghna River when it sank at about 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday, roughly 30 miles south of the capital, Dhaka. At least 35 people were rescued as divers combed the waters in search of survivors, as well as the bodies of the dead.
“Rescue work is still on, and we fear that the death toll will go up,” said Saiful Islam, a police superintendent in the district of the accident.
Ferry accidents occur with a grim frequency in Bangladesh, a poor nation with an extensive network of rivers and waterways. In 2009, two separate ferry accidents claimed more than 100 lives, while at least 23 people were killed when a ferry capsized last year. Usually, the accidents are blamed on overcrowding or poor safety procedures.
But Tuesday’s accident occurred after the ferry traveling to Dhaka collided with a cargo boat, officials said.
“I was awakened with a big jolt,” Dulal Dewan, a survivor, told The Associated Press. “I jumped into the river in darkness as the ferry started going down. In minutes, there were screams all around. People were shouting for help.”
Mr. Islam, the police official, estimated that 100 to 200 passengers would have been aboard the vessel. It is difficult to estimate the exact number of passengers since tickets are sold onboard and people embark or disembark at several different ports along the route.
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