A passenger ship is said to have crashed into a sand cargo ship off the coast of Bijoynagar in eastern Bangladesh.
At least 21 people have been killed and many more missing when a boat full of passengers and a sandbank have crashed into a lake in eastern Bangladesh.
The boat was reportedly carrying 60 passengers when it happened on Friday at sea in the town of Bijoynagar, said Hayat-ud-Doula Khan.
A steel cargo ship and the boat collided, causing the waves to rise, he said.
“We have also received 21 bodies including nine women and six children so far,” he told AFP, adding that the number could rise.
It is not clear how many people were on board the ship at the time of the accident, and how many are still missing. According to police Imranul Islam, survivors say about 100 people were on the ship.
Local fire spokesman Taufiqul Islam said people were searching for bodies, and firefighters had been called from neighboring towns. The local people also helped.
Police say at least seven people have been taken to a local hospital after being rescued from a boat that sank.
‘A great tumult’
Survivor Akhi Akter said he was accompanied by his son, mother-in-law and brother-in-law in a lifeboat.
“After the accident, I was able to swim back to the bank. But all my other relatives are still missing, ”she said through tears.
The witness said two cargo ships hit the boat, which sank quickly, said the Daily Star newspaper in Dhaka.
“I feed the cows by the shore. I heard loud noises and saw freight trains hit a passenger train. I saw the trawler sink quickly, ”witness Nurul Amin told the paper.
The site is 82km (51 miles) east of the capital, Dhaka. Local authorities have formed a committee to investigate the accident.
It was the most recent event in the history of South Asia. In April and May, 54 people were killed in two boating accidents.
Experts say poor hygiene, neglect of safety standards in the ship’s hull and overcrowding in many deadly cases.
Sandbags are submerged and difficult to navigate in harsh environments, especially in low light.
In June last year, a boat capsized in Dhaka after being hit in the back by another boat, killing at least 32 people. In February 2015, at least 78 people were killed when a full-blown ship collided with a cargo boat.