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Bangladesh ferry sinks with up to 200 on board

DHAKA - An overloaded ferry carrying up to 200 passengers sank Monday on a river in central Bangladesh, police said.

Rescue teams have pulled around 100 people out of the water, authorities said. Two dead bodies have been found, but the rest remain unaccounted for.

The boat was around 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka when it sank in rough conditions.

"We have heard that the ferry was overloaded with passengers and the river was rough," local police chief Tofazzal Hossain told AFP.

The police chief of Madaripur, where the ferry began its journey, said it was carrying between 170 and 200 passengers.

But one survivor, speaking on local television, said he the ferry was overloaded with up to 350 passengers.

"There was no storm, but the weather was cloudy and the river was rough. The waves were huge," he said.

"Suddenly the ferry was hit by a wave and flooded with water. I got out through a window and the ferry sank quickly.

"I was rescued by a local motor boat, other people were also rescued by boats."

Bangladeshi ferries do not maintain passenger logbooks, and are often overloaded.

AFP


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