Mahalaya Tragedy: 24 Pilgrims Drown As Boat Capsizes In Bangladesh
Dhaka: At least 24 people drowned and several more were missing after a boat capsized on Karatoya river in Bangladesh’s northern district of Panchagarh on Sunday.
The boat was ferrying passengers from Auliar Ghat, an area under Maria Union Parishad of Boda Upazila.
According to rescued passengers and local residents, Hindu devotees from Boda, Panchpir, Marea and Banghari areas were going to the centuries-old Badheshwar temple to offer prayers on the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya, which marks the arrival of Goddess Durga.
The boat was overcrowded, with number of passengers exceeding its permissible carrying capacity. According to eyewitnesses, there were around 70 people on board when the boat turned mid-river.
Some passengers managed to swim ashore, while around 10 people were rescued.
Rescue teams were searching for missing people – estimated around 30 – well into evening hours.
According to Panchagarh deputy commissioner Mohammad Zahurul Islam, there were quite a few women and children among the bodies recovered so far.
Hundreds of thousands of medium and small-sized boats are a common mode of transport in Bangladesh for millions of people. Safety standards are not always met, however.
At least six people died and several went missing earlier this year after a passenger ferry collided with a cargo vessel and capsized outside Dhaka.