Families of scores of people presumed dead after their ferry capsized in central Bangladesh accused authorities today of launching a feeble rescue effort and leaving their loved ones trapped inside the vessel for more than 24 hours. More than 200 people were believed to be on board the MV Pinak when it capsized yesterday. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan told reporters today that at least 125 were presumed dead and 110 others either swam to safety or were rescued after the accident on the Padma river. Rescuers have not been able to locate the capsized ferry because of strong currents, he said.
"Can't I expect the body of my sister? What are they doing? Nothing," said Monir Hossain, who traveled to the accident site to search for his sister. Officials can only estimate the number of people on board because ferry operators in Bangladesh rarely keep passenger lists. Rescuers are still trying to locate the ferry using ropes, tug boats, and speed boats while two big rescue vessels remained on shore near the accident site because of stormy weather. Rescuers were also using sensor equipment to locate the ferry, which went under about 80 feet of water. (Read more ferry stories.)