A speedboat has overturned after colliding with a cargo boat in the River Padma in central Bangladesh leaving at least 26 people dead.
“Rescuers found 26 dead bodies, and some still could be missing,” said Miraj Hossain, a senior police official of the central Madaripur District.
All the victims, one female, and 25 males were passengers of the speedboat who were headed to the Madaripur district from Munshiganj.
Only five survivors have been found so far after the accident and have been sent to the Shibchar Upazila Health Complex for medical attention.
Madaripur Deputy Commissioner Rahima Khatun said the speedboat was violating the restrictions imposed by the government amid the pandemic situation by ferrying the passengers.
Khatun explained that the accident happened because it was still dark out when the boat was on the river and that the boat pilot was unlicensed.
District and naval police, divers of Fire Service and Civil Defence, ferry ghat authorities, and locals are still searching the river for survivors and bodies because some of the passengers remain unaccounted for.
It is unknown how many passengers were on board the speedboat because it was operating illegally.
Khatun added that the families of the victims would be compensated Tk 20,000 each.