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At least 10 dead as boat sinks in Bangladesh

world Updated: Feb 09, 2009 06:38 IST

Reuters
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At least 20 people, mostly labourers, were killed when a boat sank in a river in southern Bangladesh following a collision with another vessel, police said on Tuesday.

The boat was carrying about 50 people when it capsized in the Meghna river, 110 km (68 mile) south of capital Dhaka, after being hit by an empty vessel. Several passengers swam to safety.

"So far we have recovered 20 bodies and are looking for those missing," rescue operator Abdul Mannan told Reuters.

Boat and ferry accidents occur frequently in riverine Bangladesh and hundreds of people die every year. Poor enforcement of safety laws means boats are often poorly serviced and packed well beyond capacity.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Anis Ahmed)