Ferry capsizes in Bangladesh river; dozens safe

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Bangladesh Ferry Accident
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Ferry capsizes in Bangladesh river; dozens safe
A Bangladeshi boy cries for his mother, missing after a ferry they were travelling in capsized in the River Padma in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A Bangladeshi woman cries for her missing family members, victims of a ferry capsize, in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river Padma in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A Bangladeshi woman Mahomuda, right, cries for her missing mother, victim of a ferry capsize, in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river Padma in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi boy Opu cries for his missing family members, victims of a ferry capsize, in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river Padma in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A heavy lift offshore crane arrives for rescue work at the site of a ferry capsize in the River Padma in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi rescuers search the River Padma after a ferry capsize in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Rescuers were struggling Tuesday to locate a sunken ferry that was overloaded and carrying hundreds of passengers when it capsized in the river Padma in central Bangladesh, leaving at least two people dead and probably many more. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi onlookers gather on the banks near the scene where an overloaded ferry capsized in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched August for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi onlookers gather on the banks near the scene where an overloaded ferry capsized in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched August for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshis mourn for their missing relatives after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi youth (L) mourns for his mother after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi onlookers gather near the site where an overloaded ferry capsized in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi Muslims travel home on ferries ahead of Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar's holiest month, during which followers abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi woman Munni, whose daughters are missing, cries as rescuers search the River Padma after a passenger ferry capsized in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. A passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized Monday in central Bangladesh, and at least 44 people either swam to safety or were rescued but the number of missing passengers is not yet known. (AP Photo/ A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi Muslims travel home on ferries ahead of Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar's holiest month, during which followers abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Bangladeshi onlookers watch from a ferry near the site where an overloaded ferry capsized in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi relative uses her mobile phone as she mourns for her missing relatives after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue workers search the site where an overloaded ferry capsized in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi youth mourns for his mother after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue teams search the waters where an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi resident whose brother is missing after a ferry capsize weeps as she speaks on the phone near the scene at the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Large cranes are visible as Bangladeshi rescue teams search the waters where an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshis mourn for their missing relatives after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi Muslims travel home on ferries ahead of Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar's holiest month, during which followers abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A Bangladeshi resident whose relative is missing after a ferry capsize weeps near the scene at the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi resident whose relative is missing after a ferry capsize weeps near the scene at the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi resident whose brother is missing after a ferry capsize weeps near the scene at the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. Rescuers in Bangladesh searched for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing. The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on August 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshis mourn for their missing relatives after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshis mourn for their missing relatives after an overloaded ferry capsized the day before in the Padma river in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on August 5, 2014. The ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank on August 4 in tough conditions on a river in central Bangladesh. Emergency workers said around 100 survivors and two dead bodies had been pulled out of the river, but the rest remain unaccounted for. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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By Al-Emrun Garjon

LOUHAJONG, Bangladesh (AP) - A passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized Monday in central Bangladesh, killing at least two people and probably many more as horrified villagers watched from the shore, authorities said.

It was unclear exactly how many people were on board the M.V. Pinak because ferry operators in Bangladesh rarely maintain passenger lists. Local media said there were about 250 passengers, but the figure could not be immediately confirmed.

Azizul Haque, who was among at least 44 people who survived by swimming to shore, said he jumped overboard when it became clear the ferry was going down.

"The ferry went out of control due to wind and current, tilting from one side to the other," Haque, 30, said. "Then the captain jumped out because he probably understood it was sinking. The river was rough, and there were many passengers on board."

The ferry capsized in the Padma River in Munshiganj district, about 44 kilometers (28 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka.

More than four hours after the ferry capsized, authorities said they were still waiting for a larger vessel needed to launch a proper rescue operation. Local police officer Khalid Hossain said two bodies had been recovered so far.

"We are waiting for a big rescue vessel which is on its way," said Nurul Alam Dulal, a local fire official. "It's very difficult to go there at the scene and stay afloat."

Jasim Uddin, 35, was among a crowd of people who watched the vessel go down from the shore, recording it on his cellphone as it disappeared.

When the survivors began to come to shore, he said they were exhausted and panicked.

"One woman swam nearly to shore and was picked up by a speedboat," he said. "She was crying, saying she has two daughters. It was panic. Everyone was praying to God."

As news spread of the accident, about 500 people including relatives of the missing gathered by the water, many of them weeping and holding photos of their loved ones.

Scores of people die in ferry accidents every year in Bangladesh, where boats are a common form of transportation. The Padma is one of the largest rivers in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by more than 130 rivers.

Poor safety standards and overcrowding are often blamed for the accidents. In May, about 50 people died in a ferry accident in the same district.

On Monday, the Ministry of Shipping ordered an investigation into the latest tragedy, giving a 10-day deadline.


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