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Seven killed in Bangladesh ferry accident

At least seven people were killed and dozens missing as a Bangladeshi ferry packed with more than 1,000 passengers going home to celebrate Eid-ul Adha listed and partly sank late Friday, police said.

The accident occurred as the MV Coco-4, one of the country's largest inland vessels, was coming in to a river station on Bhola island Bhola Island (also called Dakhin Shahbazpur) is the largest island of Bangladesh with an area of 1441 km². It is situated at the mouth of the Meghna River. , local police chief Zakir Hossain Mohammad Zakir Hossain is a First class and List A cricketer from Bangladesh. He was born on 2nd January 1977 in Dhaka and is a right handed batsman and right arm medium fast bowler.  told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol.  by phone.

"It was overcrowded with over 1,000 passengers. It tilted and part of it sank due to crowd pressure as it arrived near the Nazirpur river station," he said.

Police, fire brigade and local people rushed to the remote coastal village about 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Dhaka to rescue the people trapped under water.

"So far we have recovered seven dead bodies including four children. Scores of people who were staying in the cabins remain unaccounted for," said inspector Saiful Islam.

He said firefighters and volunteers were using gas torches to cut open the cabins.

Police said most of the passengers managed to swim ashore after the three-deck ferry listed following a stampede.

"Survivors told us that they became panicked and rushed to disembark dis·em·bark  
v. dis·em·barked, dis·em·bark·ing, dis·em·barks

1. To go ashore from a ship.

2. To leave a vehicle or aircraft.
 after hearing a loud noise at the bottom deck," said Islam.

The ferry set off from Dhaka Friday afternoon with the passengers travelling to their village homes to celebrate the three-day Eid-ul Adha festival, the second largest Muslim celebration.

Boat and ferry accidents due to poor safety standards and overloading are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers.

Ahead of every major festival, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority issues warnings to ship owners not to overload ferries due to safety concerns.

But owners often ignore the warnings, and overload ferries with two to three times more passengers than their capacity.

Experts say most of the 2,000 large- and medium-sized ferries which ply the rivers are built in local dockyards without proper safety checks.
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Publication:AFP South Asian Edition
Date:Nov 27, 2009
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