24 dead, 30 missing after boat capsizes in Bangladesh's Karatoa river
Dhaka, Sep 25: At least 24 people, including children, have died after a boat capsized in the Karatoa river in Boda Upazila of Panchagarh district in Bangladesh.
Over 30 passengers, who were on the boat, are still missing, according to a report in TBS News.
"Rescue work is underway to recover the bodies and find the missing," the website quoted Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Md Jahurul Islam as saying.
The boat carrying Hindu devotees to a centuries-old temple Bodeshwari Temple on the occasion of Mahalaya.
The devotees were heading towards the Bodeshwari Temple on the occasion of Mahalaya, the auspicious start of the Durga Puja festival when the boat capsized in the Korotoa River.
"Around 24 people, including 8 children and 12 women have died in the incident so far. Some of them were declared dead after they were brought to a local hospital," Solaiman Ali, administrative chief of Panchagargh's Boda sub-district, told reporters.
He said searches by firefighters and local divers were underway for the missing ones, adding the number of passengers was assumed to be between 70 and 80.
Some survivors, who managed to swim ashore, are involved in the rescue operations. Panchagargh's administrative chief or deputy commissioner Zahurul Haque said the boat was apparently carrying passengers beyond its capacity.
Thousands of Hindus in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh visit the Bodeshwari Temple every year during the Durga Puja, which began in Bangladesh on Sunday.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have expressed condolences to the victims' families in separate statements.
Boat accidents are frequent in Bangladesh, through which some of the world's mightiest rivers - the Brahmaputra and the Padma - flows.
In February last year, 69 people died in central Bangladesh in a boat mishap.
On September 1, a woman today died and at least 25 others were reported missing after an overcrowded boat with nearly 60 people aboard capsized in south-central Bangladesh. The ferry sank in Shandhya river in Banaripara upazila of Barisal district, police said.