by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
The rescuers retrieved 21 more bodies from a ferry that sank in a river on Sunday near Narayanganj after a collision with a cargo vessel, bringing the death to 26, officials said on Monday.
Five more bodies were found adrift hours after ferry carrying more than 50 passengers capsized in Shitalakshya river at Madanpur of Narayanganj district on Sunday.
Rescuers from the navy, coastguard, police and fire service and civil defence department took more than 18 hours to salvage and tow the ferry ashore, said Commodore Golam Sadeq, the chief of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.
He said negligence by the captain of the cargo vessel is initially blamed for the accident. An armature video footage show that the cargo vessel hit the ferry locally known as launch and drag it to some kilometers until it sank. Passengers were seen jumping from the small ferry.
The cargo vessel is traceless since the accident that followed a stormy weather hampering the rescue operation.
While briefing newsmen at the scene, Sadeq said the rescue operation was officially called off with the salvage of the ship. But the coastguard will conduct search operation in case there is anyone still missing.
The ferry was en route on 45-minute trip to Munshiganj from Narayanganj.
The government launched two committees to investigate the reason behind the accident.
Deaths from accidents involving ferries are quite common in Bangladesh, a country of many rivers. Poor safety measures and the lax implementation of regulations are widely blamed for those accidents.