Twenty-six people were killed and 5 others injured Monday morning in a collision between two boats in a river in central Bangladesh, police said.
The collision occurred between a speedboat coming from Maua, carrying about 30 people, and a boat carrying sand in the Padma River near the city of Sheepshar. Read also Al Jazeera Investigations Unit uncovers a criminal network colluding with security forces in Bangladesh Become a big producer .. Bangladesh, a rising economic powerhouse Exclusive: Documents reveal that Bangladesh has purchased phone hacking devices from Israel Reducing child poverty rates … The Bangladeshi experience confirms the effectiveness of Biden’s stimulus plan
“All the victims were hit in the head,” Police Inspector Amir Hussein told AFP. “So far, we have pulled out 26 bodies, one of them is a woman, and we have also rescued 5 people with injuries, including three children.”
According to Hussain, the front of the passenger boat was completely destroyed in the collision before the boat sank in the river.
Hussein said that “the police, firefighters and army relief teams are on the scene and they are conducting search and rescue operations.” The police announced that officers were immediately dispatched to the scene.
Abdul Rahman, an eyewitness, recounted that the two boats collided in a major accident and capsized.
“We rushed to the place where we found the speedboat broken up, while hundreds of villagers immediately started to help in the rescue before the police and firefighters joined them,” he added.
A government official in Sheepshar indicated that there could be up to 5 people missing. Advertising
According to him, it appears that the driver of the speedboat was primarily responsible for the accident as he collided with the boat, which was docked at Sheepshar. He explained that “an order was issued to conduct an investigation into the incident.”
The largest bridge
Bangladesh is building the largest automobile and railway bridge in the vicinity of the accident site.
The slow construction of the bridge caused river transport via ferries, prompting people to risk riding fast boats that allow crossing the river within 15 minutes. Although the ferry travel is safer, it sometimes takes two hours.
Accidents between ships are often recorded in Bangladesh, which lies on a delta and crosses hundreds of rivers.
Millions of people depend on boats for their movement, especially in coastal areas, but these ships are often dilapidated and carry more than their carrying capacity.
Dhows sail loaded with sand and it can be difficult to see in rough waters, especially when the lights are dim.
Hundreds of people die every year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, which has a low-lying land and a large network of inland waterways, but suffers from lax safety standards.
On April 4, 34 people were killed when a passenger ship collided with a cargo ship in the Chitalakshia River, which is about 30 km from Dhaka.
On 29 June last year, 34 passengers were killed in another capsize when two passenger ships collided in the Buriganga River in Dhaka.
Thousands of passengers in Bangladesh, most of them from the south of the country, use waterways to reach the capital and other areas.
According to the records of the Bangladesh Water Transport Administration, more than 3,600 people have died and nearly 500 have been lost when more than 550 passenger ships capsized between 1991 and 2020.