February 23, 2015 / 12:22 AM / 3 years ago

Bangladesh ferry capsizes after collision, 70 dead

DHAKA (Reuters) - At least 70 people died when a ferry carrying 150 passengers and crew capsized after colliding with a trawler on a river in central Bangladesh, police said on Monday.

Rescuers managed to save at least 50 passengers, regional police official Harun-ur Rashid told Reuters.

Low-lying Bangladesh, with extensive inland waterways and slack safety standards, suffers regular ferry disasters, with death tolls sometimes running into the hundreds.

More than half the bodies retrieved from the river Padma were women and children, Harun said, adding that rescue attempts had now ended.

He said 27 of the bodies were recovered from inside the ferry. Another 43 bodies were pulled from the water earlier on Sunday.

Police have seized the trawler and arrested the captain and his two crew, Harun said.

The ferry had been heading to Paturia from Daulatdia in Rajbari, about 135 km (85 miles) west of the capital Dhaka.

Shajahan Khan, the shipping minister, told reporters at the scene that an investigation had been launched.

A similar accident on Feb. 13 killed at least seven passengers in southern Bangladesh.

Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Paul Tait/Ruth Pitchford

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