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At Least 125 Presumed Dead In Bangladesh Ferry Disaster

The boat was traveling along the Padma river when it sank.

Posted on August 4, 2014, at 2:51 a.m. ET

Update — Aug. 5, 8:15 a.m. ET:

A Bangladeshi government minister says at least 125 people are presumed to have died after a ferry capsized in the centre of the country on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

AP Photo/http://A.M. Ahmed

A Bangladeshi woman cries for her missing mother following the capsize.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said that up to 110 people had been rescued or swam to safety.


The ferry was passing along the Padma River in Munshiganj district, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Dhaka, AP said.

Initial reports suggested there could have been up to 250 people on board the vessel. However, Bangladeshi ferries rarely keep passenger lists, meaning it is difficult to ascertain the precise number.

Reports yesterday said 44 people had swam to safety, and a list of 116 missing people had been compiled using information from relatives and friends.

Passenger Mohammad Suman managed to swim away from the sinking vessel. Speaking shortly after the disaster, he said that two of his brothers and a sister were missing. "We were five altogether, and I and another survived by jumping from the ferry," he said.

The New York Times reported that the boat was making a journey from an inland station to the city of Mawa when it got caught in a strong current.

Shortly after the disaster, a crowd of around 500 people assembled at the shore, including relatives clutching pictures of their loved ones.


Onlookers look out over the stretch of water where the ferry capsized.

The type of boat has been identified as a MV-Pinak 6. There has been a struggle to locate the sunken ferry.

Many of the passengers will have been returning to their home towns after celebrating Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, according to Reuters.

Poor safety standards and overcrowded vessels mean that disasters on Bangladesh's sprawling river network are common. At least 40 people died in a ferry disaster in a similar area in May.

AP Photo/Suvra Kanti Das

A man mourns a family member following the disaster in May.