The outcome of the drama is only provisional. A ferry carrying 50 passengers sank around 6 p.m. Sunday in a collision with another boat in central Bangladesh, authorities said, killing at least five people.
The ship sank in the Shitalakhsya River, after leaving the industrial town of Narayanganj, twenty kilometers from the capital Dhaka. According to a member of the local police, the health measures against the coronavirus explain the affluence on the boat. The ferry was full of passengers eager to leave Narayanganj after the government instituted a seven-day nationwide lockdown from Monday to tackle a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
Divers continue to search
Narayanganj district government administrator Shukla Sarker said divers were working to search for the missing. “We don’t know how many people are missing,” she said. Importantly, local police chief Dipak Saha said rescue efforts were hampered by a powerful storm that arose after the crash.
Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers. Millions of people depend on ferries for transport, especially in the country’s southern coastal region, but ships are often overloaded and in poor condition.