14 die as Bangladesh ferry sinks

A relative of a missing passenger mourns after a ferry sank on giant Meghna river, in Munshiganj. Reuters/Khurshed Rinku

A relative of a missing passenger mourns after a ferry sank on giant Meghna river, in Munshiganj. Reuters/Khurshed Rinku

Sat, Feb 9, 2013, 00:00

At least 14 people have died and five are still missing after a ferry carrying 50 people collided with a sand barge and sank on Bangladesh's giant Meghna River late yesterday.

"Rescuers found 12 dead bodies inside the salvaged ferry, while two bodies were recovered yesterday," a spokesman for the Munshiganj district, where the accident happened, said.

At least six of the dead were children, aged between two and 10.

"We called off the rescue operations with five people missing," the spokesman said, adding that about half the passengers managed to swim ashore and some were rescued by local villagers.

The Meghna River is one of three rivers that forms the Ganges Delta.

Unregulated and overcrowded ferries often run in to trouble on low-lying Bangladesh's extensive network of rivers.

Hundreds of people are killed in accidents every year despite government vows to crack down on unlicensed operators.