A day after the latest in a string of similar calamities to strike the South Asian nation, the death toll from the sinking of an overcrowded ferry carrying Hindu pilgrims in northern Bangladesh rose to 40, with many people still unaccounted for.
Rescue workers were looking for remains as onlookers and missing persons’ family members gathered along the riverbank.
22 women and 11 children were among those found thus far, according to Jahurul Islam, district administrator of Panchagarh, the accident’s scene.
He said that the boat was carrying Hindu pilgrims to a shrine in honor of Mahalaya, a Hindu festival in which Hindus pay sacrifices to their ancestors.
“Divers are hunting for more victims since some are still missing,” he said. Initial indications indicated the boat was carrying approximately three times its capacity, according to Islam, who was speaking on behalf of the five-member commission looking into the sinking.
According to passengers, there were more than 70 persons on board, and authorities were checking the list of the missing based on information from the family. According to the police, some of the passengers were rescued or were able to swim ashore.