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Scores missing in Bangladesh ferry sinking


Scores of people are feared dead after a ferry collided with a barge south of the Bangladeshi capital, and rescuers have begun retrieving bodies, officials said.

The double-decker Shariatpur 1 ferry was hit on Tuesday early morning by another vessel in the middle of the Meghna River southeast of Dhaka, Shahidul Islam, a local police official, told AFP news agency.

"About 35 passengers were rescued by another ferry. But more than 150 passengers remain unaccounted for," Islam said. The vessel was thought to have been carrying about 200 people, although the exact number is unknown.

Divers had so far recovered more than 30 bodies from inside the sunken ferry, local police official Mohammad Shahabuddin Khan told the Associated Press.

"The death toll is likely to rise as more bodies are feared trapped inside," Khan said. "We will get a better picture of the casualties once the sunken ferry is pulled out of the water."

Hundreds of anxious people, many of them weeping, gathered near the scene of the accident, in Munshiganj district, about 32km south of Dhaka, to look for loved ones who were on board the ferry.

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