Bangladesh ferry death toll rises to 47, more feared drowned

May 17, 2014 | By | Reply More

May 17, – Rescuers called off the search for missing passengers of a sunken ferry in central Bangladesh on Saturday after retrieving 47 bodies, causing anger among relatives of those still unaccounted for.

hromedia Bangladesh ferry death toll rises to 45, more feared drowned intl. news2The chief of Bangladesh’s water transport authority, Shamsuddoha Khandaker, said that divers would leave the River Meghna site where the ferry M.V. Miraz-4 sank in a storm on Thursday. There was confusion over how many passengers were onboard, and authorities would not provide any complete list.

“We are calling off the search as the ferry has been towed to the bank and we found no more bodies. In total, our rescuers found 47 bodies,” he said.

Ferry operators in Bangladesh usually do not maintain a list of passengers, and none was available in the latest disaster, said local administrator Saiful Hasan.

“I haven’t got my brother, where is he? Why do authorities stop searching?” asked Mohammad Moniruzzaman.

Before 11 more bodies were recovered Saturday, police had estimated that at least 100 were still missing.

Relatives of passengers aboard the sunken ferry wait for their missing ones as they watch a rescue o …

Rescue diver Masudul Haque said on Friday evening he had recovered nine of the bodies but many were still trapped in cabin rooms.

“We have recovered the bodies mainly from the lower deck and other open spaces, but could not open the doors of the cabin rooms where many passengers took shelter after the storm had hit,” Haque said.

“I tried to open those doors but could not as huge volumes of sand have buried many of the doors,” he said.

Relatives of the missing and the dead gathered on the banks the Meghna River, near where the boat capsized. Several bodies, covered in cloth, were laid out on the ground.

“I came here yesterday for my brother but I don’t have any trace yet. Nobody can assure me of anything,” said a sobbing relative, Lokman Hossain.

Sabuj, a passenger who jumped overboard when the ship began to sink, said he was among some 25 survivors who swam to shore.

He said the captain of the double-decker ferry ignored the passengers’ calls to stay close to the shore as the storm started brewing.

“But he continued to steer the ship” out into the water, said Sabuj, who uses one name.

The ferry was apparently overcrowded and its lower deck was loaded with goods, said Mohammad Ali, a director of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority. Officials were investigating whether the vessel was overcrowded or had design faults.

Ferries are a common mode of transportation in this populous delta nation, and the Meghna River has been the scene of past accidents.

Press journalist for HRO media – Dawar Shah contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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