Disasters & Accidents

At least 10 killed after two boats collide in northeastern Bangladesh

Dhaka, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- At least 10 people were killed on Wednesday and many others were feared missing after two boats collided in a river in northeastern Bangladesh, authorities said.

The accident took around 10 am in the Gumai river in the Netrakona district, when a boat carrying around 30 passengers collided with another vessel carrying sand, local administrator Sohel Rana told EFE.

“So far 10 bodies have been taken out and some people were also rescued alive. We assume that few people still remain missing but we don’t know the number,” he said.

Boat accidents are a frequent occurrence in Bangladesh, where hundreds of waterways, including the Ganges Delta rivers Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna, are commonly used for transport.

In most cases, the accidents can be attributed to overloading and the poor condition of the vessels.

However, such incidents have considerably reduced over the years due to improvements in weather forecasting and implementation of new safety regulations.

According to the Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh, a total of 219 people were killed in 203 waterway accidents in the country in 2019.

The last major river accident took place on Aug. 4, when least 17 people died in the same area of the Netrakona district when a boat carrying a group of students and teachers capsized during a trip through wetlands.

Similarly, at least 30 people died in June after a boat carrying around 50 passengers capsized in the highly polluted Buriganga river, one of the major navigable rivers of the country that helps connect capital Dhaka with waterways to other parts of the country.

Authorities had ordered an investigation and not ruled out sabotage as a possible reason behind the accident, in which the victims mostly consisted of workers on their daily commute to Dhaka for work. EFE-EPA


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