Bangladesh boat accident leaves 66 dead and more missing


Sumon Corraya

Bangladesh ferry accident, killed 145 in Meghna on 13 March in 2012.

On Sept. 25, a ferry boat traveling in Bangladesh tragically capsized in the Karatoya River while heading north. Five days later, 66 people were pronounced dead, and there are still many more missing.

The boat was carrying Hindu devotees who were on their way to a temple for Mahalaya, an occasion where Hindus make offerings to their ancestors.

Authorities are blaming heavy overcrowding on the boat for the sinking, speculating that it was carrying over three times the weight that it can accommodate. After hearing the news, relatives waited on the riverbank for their loved ones as volunteers and rescuers continued to search for those who are still missing.

Unfortunately, situations like these are not uncommon in Bangladesh. With its many waterways and limited laws restricting unsafe travel or ensuring passenger protection, many people die each year from ferry boat accidents in the country. For example, a speedboat and bulk carrier collision caused 26 casualties just this past May.

This may seem like a problem that is easy enough to fix: create stronger enforcements and rules so disasters like this one do not continue to take place. However, in a country like Bangladesh, it is not that simple. Its resources and abilities to carry out these rules effectively are limited. Additionally, Bangladesh has many major rivers flowing throughout its land, which makes it effective for traveling and transporting goods; however, this also makes the country very susceptible to flooding and other related calamities.

As of now, rescue teams and law enforcement are still working to recover the missing people from the waters of the Karatoya River as this story is still developing.