More than 30 bodies have been recovered from a river in Bangladesh, and more people are feared dead, after two ferries collided on Monday morning.
A vessel called the Morning Bird, which was carrying up to 60 passengers, sank in just 20 seconds after colliding with Mayur-2, a larger ferry, at around 8:55 a.m. in Dhaka, local police chief Shah Jamal told CNN.
Jamal said the bigger boat was attempting to drop its anchor at a port on the River Buriganga at the time of the crash. He added there were at least eight women and three children among the deceased, and that the Morning Bird sank very quickly, in around 15-20 seconds.
Shahidul Islam, a Bangladesh Fire Service official, told CNN: “We have so far recovered 32 bodies from the capsized ferry. We have already handed over the bodies to the relatives. A joint team of Navy, water authorities and private divers along with river police are working on the rescue mission.”
Navy diver Nazrul Islam pulled up two bodies to the surface, but he believes there might more people inside the boat. He said the vessel is lying around 60-70 feet deep on the riverbed, which consists of soft earth and plastic trash.
A four-member committee has been formed to look into the crash, said Commodore Golam Sadeq, who is Chief of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.
As word of the accident spread, hundreds gathered at the banks of the river. The crowd included family members of the missing, some of whom hired a boat in a bid to find their loved ones.