Bangladesh Ferry Toll Hits 58

Disaster strikes as people were disembarking
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2009 8:46 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2009 6:50 AM CST
A woman weeps as she stands with others watching the triple-deck ferry, M.V. Coco, floating after it tipped and its rear portion sank in the Tetulia River late Friday near the coastal town of Bhola, 64...   (Firoz Ahmed)
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(Newser) – The body count in southern Bangladesh has hit 58 in the wake of a ferry that capsized as hundreds of holiday travelers disembarked yesterday. MV Coco hit a river shoal as it approached the terminal, breaking the hull and allowing water in. As passengers scrambled to disembark, the vessel then tipped and partially sank in the Tetulia River. A rescue ship finally righted the ferry today, easing the work of those searching the submerged cabins for scores believed trapped inside.

"Many passengers were frightened after seeing water in the lower deck and started rushing out causing the boat to tilt on one side," said a survivor. The ferry was crowded with more than 1,500 heading home to celebrate the Eid al-Adha festival, reported Dhaka's private ETV TV station; it had a sanctioned capacity of 1,000. Many of the dead were women and children.

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