DHAKA, Bangladesh – At least 26 people have died and several more are missing on Monday after an overcrowded speedboat collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank in the Padma River in Bangladesh, police said.
“Rescuers found 26 bodies, and some may still be missing,” said Miraj Hossain, a senior police official in the central district of Madaripur, where the accident occurred.
Five people were rescued and sent to hospital, he said.
The speedboat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Rahima Khatun, a senior government official in the region, told The Associated Press.
He overturned as he walked towards Madaripur District from Munshiganj District, the official said. Bangladesh is in containment until Wednesday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Hundreds of people die each year in ferry crashes in Bangladesh, a low-lying country with vast inland waterways and lax safety standards.
This is the second fatal maritime accident in a month. In April, a collision between a freighter 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 very waterway. frequented country.
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.