Passenger ship in Bangladesh sinks, 21 useless, others lacking | World information

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – At least 21 people died when a Bangladeshi passenger boat with more than 100 on board sank and the driver of a cargo ship suspected of colliding with the boat was arrested, officials said Saturday.

According to initial reports from officials and the Bangladeshi media, around 50 passengers were missing in a large open body of water in the eastern Brahmanbaria district after the sinking on Friday evening.

Bangladesh is a delta country where water transportation is heavily used to move people and goods. However, fatal accidents are common due to unskilled operation and insufficient enforcement of safety regulations. The country is crossed by 230 rivers, and during the monsoon season, some lower-lying areas fill with water and are also used by boats.

The cargo ship driver and two assistants were caught by locals in the Bijoynagar area and handed over to authorities, said Anisur Rahman, district police inspector. He said efforts to retrieve more bodies were ongoing.

Local police officer Imranul Islam announced the death toll of 21 late on Friday by phone. Survivors said there were about 100 people on board. Local news reports quoting the area’s top government administrator, Hayat-Ud-Dola, said around 50 people were missing.

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A witness said two cargo ships struck the boat, which sank quickly, the Dhaka-based newspaper The Daily Star reported.

“I was grazing cattle on the bank. I heard a loud noise and saw the cargo ships hit the passenger trawler. I saw the trawler sink rapidly, ”the witness Nurul Amin told the newspaper.

The Bijoynagar area is 82 kilometers (51 miles) east of the capital Dhaka.

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