DHAKA, Bangladesh — At least 26 people died and several others were missing on Monday after an overcrowded speedboat collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank in the Padma River in Bangladesh, the police said.
“Rescuers found 26 dead bodies, and some still could be missing,” said Miraj Hossain, a senior police official of the central Madaripur District, where the accident occurred.
Five people were rescued and sent to a hospital, he said.
The speedboat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Rahima Khatun, a top government official in the area, told The Associated Press.
It overturned while heading for Madaripur District from Munshiganj District, the official said. Bangladesh is under a lockdown until Wednesday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Hundreds of people die each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that has extensive inland waterways and lax safety standards.
It was the second fatal maritime accident in a month. In April, a collision between a cargo ship and a small ferry killed 27 people and left more than a dozen others swimming for their lives in central Bangladesh, the latest in a long history of disasters on the country’s heavily trafficked waterway.
In June last year, at least 32 people drowned after the passenger boat they were on collided with a ferry and capsized in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.
At least 15 people drowned in February 2020 after an overcrowded boat carrying Rohingya refugees capsized off the coast of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Speedboat Crash Kills at Least 26 – The New York Times