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Launch in Bangladesh Sinks near Bhola , atleast 35 Die


A Bangladeshi ferry carrying more than 1,000 passengers sank late Friday, leaving at least 33 people dead and many others missing.

Local authorities say the incident occurred on the Tetulia River (near the town of Lalmohan) on Bhola island, some 150 kilometers south of the capital, Dhaka. They say many of the passengers were going home for the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha.

Officials say the vessel tipped over when passengers were disembarking at a ferry terminal. Rescuers rushed to the scene to search for people trapped in cabins on lower levels.

Fatal ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh. Many of the incidents are blamed on poor safety standards, lax enforcement and boats that are often loaded far beyond capacity.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in Port of Spain attending the Commonwealth summit, expressed her grief at Friday's launch disaster and ordered speedy rescue operation and investigation into the accident. Hasina has sent condolences to the families of the victims. Minister for Shipping Shajahan Khan , immediately rushed to the place where the incident took place. Efforts are bring carried on to rescue the people who might still be confined in the sunken launch


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