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No fewer than 26 people were yesterday killed when a speedboat packed with passengers collided with a vessel conveying sand in the latest maritime disaster to hit Bangladesh.
Police said the speedboat carrying about three dozen passengers from the town of Mawa rammed into the other vessel in the Padma river as it neared the main river station in the central rural town of Shibchar.
‘We have so far recovered 26 bodies including a woman. We have also rescued five injured people including three children,’ police official Amir Hossain told correspondents.
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Hossain said the bow of the passenger boat was destroyed when the speedboat smashed into the side of the transport vessel, sinking in the river in minutes.
‘Police, the fire brigade, and army rescue teams are on the spot, conducting search and rescue work,‘ he said.
Witness Abdur Rahman said there was a loud noise when the boats collided and the vessels then overturned.
‘When we rushed to the spot we found the speedboat torn into two pieces. Hundreds of villagers immediately started conducting rescue work before they were joined by police and the fire brigade,’ he said.
Bangladesh is building the country’s largest road and railway bridge near the accident spot and police said officers were immediately at the scene.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK