Copy of 2021-04-05T023403Z_64023574_RC2EPM9WPOAO_RTRMADP_3_BANGLADESH-FERRY-ACCIDENT-1617610394763
Relatives and onlookers look on after several people died when a ferry collided with a cargo vessel and sank on Sunday in the Shitalakhsyaa River in Narayanganj, Bangladesh. Image Credit: Reuters



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.

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.

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

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

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

Initial report

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.

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

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

Spike in cases

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.

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.

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