Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Sunday, 4 January 2009

Ferry capsizes in eastern Nepal

Map of Nepal
A lack of roads in Nepal means that boats are a common form of transport

At least 35 people, mostly women and children, are believed to be missing after a ferry capsized on a river in eastern Nepal, local officials say.

The accident occurred in Sunsari district, about 200km (125 miles) south-east of the capital, Kathmandu.

Officials said the vessel was carrying more than 50 people when it went under, and several had been rescued.

Police and fishermen have been searching for other survivors but fog and cold weather have hampered efforts.

One official said the ferry was overcrowded.

Correspondents say travel by boat in the district has become necessary because many roads and bridges were damaged by flooding during the monsoon season.

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