Dozens still missing from Bangladesh ferry sinking

Other News Materials 29 February 2008 10:55 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Hopes of finding any more survivors from the decks of a submerged ferry were fading fast Friday as attempts to drag the boat out of the Buriganga river failed, rescuers said.

At least 33 people were killed and more than 24 are still missing since the overnight accident when the double-decker ferry slammed into a cargo steamer, assistant superintendent of police Noor Ahmad said.

The cranes of a salvage ship failed in its initial attempts to pull out the ferry Sourav, which sank near the Sadarghat river terminal off the capital Dhaka.

The death toll was likely to rise further with rescue divers expressing fears that people were trapped in the upper decks when the Sourav overturned.

The ferry, headed for the town of Munshiganj, had up to 200 people on board when it left Dhaka on a busy holiday weekend. About 40 people managed to swim to safety while others were picked up by passing boats after the ferry struck a steamer carrying sand.

The government is investigating the accident.