Death toll rises to at least 70 in Bangladesh ferry disaster

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Bangladesh Ferry Capsize
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Death toll rises to at least 70 in Bangladesh ferry disaster
A least 70 people killed and many more missing after a ferry carrying 200 people abroad was struck by a cargo ship.
Bangladesh residents surround the body of a relative following a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh rescue workers recover a body after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh fire service rescue personnel work to recover bodies from a ferry after it capsized at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladesh resident reacts after finding the body of a relative following a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh fire service scuba divers stand on a ferry as they try to fix wires from a crane to lift it after it capsized at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh residents react after finding the body of a relative following a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh residents react after finding the body of a relative following a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh officials and bystanders gather alongside bodies recovered by rescue workers following a ferry accident at Paturia, some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh fire service scuba divers stand on a ferry as they try to fix wires from a crane to lift it after it capsized at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi fire service scuba divers stand on a ferry as they try to fix wires from a crane to lift it after it capsized at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Onlookers gather near the scene of ferry accident (C) at Paturia some 70 kms east of Dhaka as rescue efforts continue on February 23, 2015. The death toll in a ferry accident in central Bangladesh soared to 69 on February 23, after more bodies were recovered from the overcrowded boat which sank within minutes of colliding with a cargo vessel. AFP PHOTO / Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue workers recover the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi relative reacts as he sits near the body of a child, a victim of a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue workers recover the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladeshi rescue workers recover the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi relative reacts as she holds body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh relatives cry as they mourn the death of ferry accident victims at Manikganj some 30kms west of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Dozens were feared missing when a ferry sank in central Bangladesh after colliding with a cargo ship, police said. Survivors said the MV Mostofa was carrying between 70-150 passengers when it capsized in the Padma river, local police chief Rakibuz Zaman told AFP. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi relative reacts as he holds the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bangladeshi relative reacts next to the body of a victim after a ferry accident at Paturia some 70kms east of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Sixteen people including a baby are confirmed dead and rescuers are still searching for missing passengers after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank in a Bangladesh river, officials said. It was the second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight in the country, which has a history of ferry tragedies. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh officials stand on a boat laden with the bodies of ferry accident victims at Manikganj some 30kms west of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Dozens were feared missing when a ferry sank in central Bangladesh after colliding with a cargo ship, police said. Survivors said the MV Mostofa was carrying between 70-150 passengers when it capsized in the Padma river, local police chief Rakibuz Zaman told AFP. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Bangladesh bystanders carry the body of a ferry accident victim at Manikganj some 30kms west of Dhaka on February 22, 2015. Dozens were feared missing when a ferry sank in central Bangladesh after colliding with a cargo ship, police said. Survivors said the MV Mostofa was carrying between 70-150 passengers when it capsized in the Padma river, local police chief Rakibuz Zaman told AFP. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - The death toll from a weekend ferry disaster in central Bangladesh rose to 70 on Monday in the latest shipping mishap in the South Asian nation.

The official search for more bodies by divers at the accident site was called off late Monday morning after the ferry was brought to the surface and towed to the shore.

A local government administrator, Rasheda Ferdousi, said they would continue to monitor the river around the accident site as there were still "some missing." But he would not give an exact figure for the missing.

"Our people are using boats to survey the river for any dead bodies. But here at the scene we are calling off the search as there are no more bodies inside the ferry," Ferdousi said.

Up to 140 passengers were thought to be on the river ferry when it capsized Sunday afternoon after being hit by a cargo vessel.

The accident happened on the Padma River about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Dhaka, the capital.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by more than 130 rivers.

The ferry, the M.L. Mosta, sank in 6 meters (20 feet) under water before a salvage ship pulled it to the surface.

Rescuers recovered 48 bodies on Sunday and another 22 on Monday, according to a police control room at the scene.

Inspector Zihad Mia, who is overseeing the rescue operation, said it was not known how many passengers were missing and how many survived. Ferries in Bangladesh usually do not maintain formal passenger lists.

"We don't have a clear picture about how many were exactly on the ferry when it sank," Mia said. "But I think many have survived."

Jewel Mia, an official from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, told reporters at the scene that up to 140 people were on the ferry when it sank.

By Monday morning, police had handed over 58 bodies to their families, said local police chief Mohammaed Rakibuzzman. At least nine were children, he said.

A passenger who survived said many people were trapped inside the ferry when it sank. "The passengers who were on the deck survived, but many who were inside were trapped," Hafizur Rahman Sheikh was quoted as saying by the Prothom Alo newspaper.

Sheikh said the cargo vessel hit the middle of the ferry.

A Ministry of Shipping statement said an investigation had been ordered.

The Padma is one of the largest rivers in Bangladesh, where overcrowding and poor safety standards are often blamed for ferry disasters.

Last August, a ferry with a capacity of 85 passengers was found to be carrying more than 200 when it capsized on the Padma near Dhaka, leaving more than 100 people dead or missing. The ferry's owner was arrested after weeks in hiding on charges of culpable homicide, unauthorized operation and overloading.

At least five people die earlier this month when a ferry sank in southern Bangladesh.


Dozens Die as Bangladesh Ferry Capsizes
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