Bangladesh ferry disaster: Death toll rises to 26

Dhaka:

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Update:

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The death toll from a ferry disaster in Bangladesh jumped to 26 on Monday after rescuers pulled the vessel out of the water and found more bodies inside, officials said Monday.

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The sunken ferry was extracted from the heavily polluted Shitalakshya River in the central district of Narayanganj as hundreds of onlookers and relatives of the missing watched from the shore.

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“We have found 21 bodies today after the ship was pulled out of the water,” local official Mustain Billah told AFP.

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The one-and-a-half storey Sabit Al Hasan sank after it collided with a bigger cargo vessel on Sunday.

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The vessel had departed less than an hour earlier from Narayanganj, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Dhaka, officials told AFP.

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Initial report

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A Bangladesh ferry carrying around 50 passengers collided with a cargo vessel and sank on Sunday in the Shitalakhsyaa River south of the capital Dhaka, leaving at least five people dead and many more missing, officials said.

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The ferry, which departed from Narayanganj district about 20 km (12 mies) from Dhaka, was travelling to Munshiganj, police official Kabir Hossain said.

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“The rescue operation for those missing is ongoing,” he said, adding some of the passengers managed to swim ashore.

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Spike in cases

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The boat was packed with people rushing to go to their hometown after the government announced a week-long nationwide lockdown from Monday to tackle a spike in the COVID-19 cases.

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Bangladesh reported a record daily jump of 7,087 coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking its total number of cases to 637,364 with 9,266 deaths.

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Hundreds of people die each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that has extensive inland waterways but lax safety standards.

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