Dhaka, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- At least 17 people died on Wednesday after a boat capsized in Bangladesh, authorities said.
Local administrator Bulbul Ahmed said the incident happened around noon when a group of Islamic seminary students and teachers were taking a boat ride in the Madan area of the northeast Netrakona district.
“This is a tourist spot. Some madrasa students and teachers from Mymensingh came to see the haor in the morning. They were joined by some villagers in the boat journey,” he added.
A haor is a vast wetland that usually gets swelled by water during monsoon season.
Ahmed said the boat had 48 people on board and the authorities could rescue 30 people while one person was missing.
“Fire service and local people continued their search for the missing. We are working to confirm the identity of the victims,” he said.
Boat accidents occur frequently 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 the 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.
At least 30 people died in June after a boat carrying around 50 passengers capsized in Bangladesh’s Buriganga river, near the country’s capital city of Dhaka.
The accident took place in one of the major navigable rivers of the country, flowing past the outskirts of the capital.
The highly polluted Buriganga river forms a part of the main waterway connecting Dhaka with other parts of the country. EFE-EPA