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252 dead, missing after Bangladesh ferry capsizes in storm.

DHAKA, April 21 Kyodo

At least 52 people drowned and 200 others were missing Monday night after a passenger ferry sank during a violent tropical storm near capital Dhaka, authorities said.

The accident occurred on the Buriganga river about 15 kilometers east of Dhaka. Fifty-two bodies -- mostly children and women -- have been recovered.

According to the meteorological department, strong winds of up to 75 km per hour were whipping the area at the time of accident.

Witnesses said the ferry MV Mitali was heading to Paishar Hat in the southern Barisal district from the capital's river port Shadarghat when it was hit by the storm at around 8 p.m. The ship reportedly capsized within 10 minutes.

This is the third major ferry accident this month to hit Bangladesh during tropical storms.

Last week, at least 23 people died after a passenger ferry capsized in the district of Kishoreganj in northeastern Bangladesh during a heavy storm. About 73 people drowned on April 4 after a ferry capsized at Chatak, 260 km northeast of Dhaka.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Apr 28, 2003
Words:174
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