By: Chandrashekar Bhat
NINE children and 11 women were among 22 people dead in Friday’s (27) boat tragedy in Bangladesh, media reports said on Sunday (29).
A boat packed with about 100 passengers and a sand-laden ship collided in a lake in the eastern Bangladesh town of Bijoynagar, resulting in the tragedy.
Five staffers of the cargo vessel were arrested, Daily Star said.
Police said at least seven people were taken to a local hospital after they were rescued from the sunken boat.
Survivor Akhi Akter said she was travelling with her son, mother-in-law and brother-in-law in the passenger boat when it met with the accident.
“When the accident occurred, I managed to swim back to the bank. But the rest of my relatives are still missing,” she said tearfully.
Local authorities have formed a probe committee to investigate the accident.
The maritime accident was the latest in a string of similar incidents in the south Asian country.
In April and May, 54 were killed in two separate boat capsizing accidents.
Experts blame poor maintenance, lax safety standards at shipyards and overcrowding for many of the accidents.
Vessels transporting sand sit low in the water and can be hard to see in choppy conditions, particularly in poor lighting.
In June last year, a ferry sank in Dhaka after it was hit from behind by another ferry, killing at least 32 people.
In February 2015, at least 78 people died when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo boat.