Boat sinks in Bangladesh pond, 21 dead, several missing

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A passenger boat carrying more than 100 people sank after a collision Friday in a large pond in Bangladesh, and officials said 21 people were dead and about 50 missing.

The sinking occurred in the Bijoynagar area in Brahmanbaria district in the evening, local police official Imranul Islam said by phone. Rescuers recovered at least 21 bodies by late Friday, while survivors said about 100 people were on board, he said.

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Local news reports, quoting the area’s top government administrator, Hayat-Ud-Dola, said about 50 people were missing.

A witness said two cargo vessels hit the boat, which sank quickly, Dhaka-based The Daily Star newspaper reported.

“I was grazing cattle on the bank of the pond. I heard a loud noise and saw the cargo vessels hitting the passenger trawler. I saw the trawler sinking quickly,” witness Nurul Amin told the paper.

The area is 82 kilometers (51 miles) east of the capital, Dhaka.

Bangladesh is a delta nation where water transport is heavily used to move people and goods, but deadly accidents are common because of unskilled operation and poor enforcement of safety rules.

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