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Last Updated:  Monday, 7 April, 2003, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Bangladesh ferry death toll rises
Ten more bodies have been recovered following a boat accident on Friday in Bangladesh, according to officials.

The discovery brings the death toll to 72.

The accident happened on the River Surma in the north-eastern district of Sunamganj.

The boat sank at night with nearly 200 workers on board sank after hitting a cargo vessel travelling in the opposite direction.

Almost all the victims were women and children.

"I will not be surprised if we find few more [bodies] in the next several days," Munir Uzzaman an administrator for the district told the AFP news agency.

The district's Chief Administrator, Mohammad Ali Khan, told the BBC a three-member inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the incident and it will submit its report in a week's time.

He said the committee will try to establish the cause of the accident and find out who was responsible.

Seasonal workers

The passengers of the boat were all seasonal quarry labourers and their children heading home after extracting stone from riverbeds.

Bangladeshi ferry
Ferry accidents in Bangladesh are not uncommon

As summer began and the seasonal stone extraction period ended the workers were returning to the northern Netrokona district.

Mr Khan said they have no reports of any more people missing, but a search operation is still going on because they did not have any idea exactly how many people were travelling on the boat.

"It's a problem for us because some of the survivors claimed that several more passengers of the ill-fated boat were still missing," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Four killed as ferry sinks
17 Mar 03  |  South Asia
Bangladesh ferry accident kills 12
25 Jan 03  |  South Asia
Search for Bangladesh ferry victims
24 May 02  |  South Asia


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