Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, May 9, 1999 Published at 22:44 GMT 23:44 UK


World: South Asia

Hope fades for ferry survivors

Relatives watch rescue operations after the ferry capsized

Officials in Bangladesh say there is little chance of finding any more survivors from the ferry which capsized during a storm in the south of Bangladesh on Saturday.

About 100 people survived, but more than 200 people are known to have died in the disaster.


The BBC's David Chazan: Little hope of more survivors
Officials also say the ferry was not licensed to carry passengers on the section of the River Meghna where the accident occured.

All passenger traffic on the river has been suspended until October, when the rainy season ends.

Strong currents


[ image: Bangladeshi ferries are notoriously overcrowded]
Bangladeshi ferries are notoriously overcrowded
The accident happened near the town of Lakshmipur, 175km (110 miles) from the capital, Dhaka, in a stretch of river more than 14km wide with strong currents.

The vessel was believed to have been heading for Lakhsmipur from Barisal, further south.

Some survivors said the boat was swamped by three huge waves, while others said it had been caught in a whirlpool.

Reports said the boat was carrying between 300 and 400 people - roughly double its capacity. The passengers were mostly farmers.

People were thrown overboard as the ferry turned over. Fishing boats picked up more than 100 survivors, but most of the others are unaccounted for.

Tropical storm

"The ferry tilted on one side and sank in midstream immediately after being caught in a tropical storm at 1100 (0500GMT)," one survivor was quoted as saying.

"The ferry was overcrowded and was running at speed in heavy current," he added.

The BBC correspondent in Dhaka, David Chazan, says such disasters happen several times a year in Bangladesh.

The country is mostly made up of a low-lying river delta with thousands of kilometres of waterways. Many boats are ageing and poorly maintained.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


In this section

Sharif: I'm innocent

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

From Sport
Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

Pakistan fears Afghan exodus

Hindu-Buddhist conference in Nepal

Afghan clerics issue bin Laden fatwa

Culture awards at Asian festival

Gandhi pleads for husband's killer

UN condemns Afghan bombing

Gandhi prize for Bangladeshi