At least 25 people are said to be missing after a ferry capsized in Bangladesh on Monday. Police say the boat was actually a cargo vessel but was carrying some 120 passengers from Swandip island to the southern port city of Chittagong.
Most of the passengers were rescued by another boat that was following the one that went down. The passengers were returning to Chittagong after Eid celebrations marking the end of Ramadan. A rescue operation was launched immediately but strong currents were hampering the rescue operation, Coast Guard officials said.
Police believe the vessel sank because it was overloaded. Hundreds of people die in Bangladesh because of ferry disasters. Overloading, poorly maintained vessels and bad weather are blamed for the accidents.
An independent study published earlier this year blamed the government for failing to enforce laws which could check the disasters. The Alliance for Safe River Routes campaign group said that ferry accidents have claimed more than 4,000 lives in the past 34 years, reports BBC news. I.L.