(AFP) – Mar 2, 2008
DHAKA (AFP) — Rescuers in Bangladesh found six more bodies Sunday as the death toll from a ferry accident last week near Dhaka reached 45 with several still missing, police said.
Divers and police found the dead bodies several kilometres (miles) downstream from the spot of the accident on the Buriganga River, two days after authorities called off the salvage operation, police sub-inspector Nazrul Islam said.
"Five to six people are still feared missing. Their relatives have launched a separate search for the bodies in the river," he said, adding that police and fire brigade divers would continue the search.
The ferry, which was carrying about 150 people, sank in deep water on Thursday after being hit from behind by a boat transporting sand.
Army, fire and coast guard personnel took part in the search as thousands of local people including distraught relatives looked on.
Officials said 31 bodies were recovered late Thursday, while a further eight were found trapped in the submerged boat when it was raised by a rescue ship.
They added that it was likely more than 100 passengers had swam to safety and returned home without reporting to the authorities.
Deadly ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by a network of about 230 rivers which millions of people use for transport.
It is estimated that more than 3,000 people have lost their lives in ferry sinkings since 1977.
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