March 13, 2012 / 5:43 AM / 6 years ago

Dozens dead after ferry sinks in Bangladesh

DHAKA (Reuters) - A ferry carrying more than 250 passengers sank in a river in Bangladesh on Tuesday after colliding with a barge and at least 35 people were dead, police and witnesses said. Scores were missing.

The accident occurred on the Meghna river in Munshiganj district, some 50 km (31 miles) south of the capital. At least 50 people managed to swim ashore, an official said.

The Dhaka-bound ferry, the MV Shariatpur-1, was hit by an oil-laden barge early on Tuesday.

“We have recovered 35 bodies so far but death toll could go up as more bodies are feared trapped inside,” police chief Mohammad Shahabuddin Khan said.

Local officials said rescue efforts were hampered by poor light.

Ferry accidents kill hundreds of people in Bangladesh every year, usually caused by overcrowding and poor supervision and law enforcement.

Reporting by Ruma Paul and Serajul Quadir; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

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