DHAKA May 16 Bangladeshi rescuers were trying
on Friday to pull a capsized ferry to land in their search for
victims still believed trapped in the vessel that went over
during bad weather with about 200 people on board.
Twenty-two people are known to have drowned when the M.V.
Miraj-4 tipped over in high wind and rain on the Meghna river
near the capital, Dhaka, on Thursday.
About 40 people swam to shore and 35 were rescued, police
and rescue official said, meaning about 100 people were
Low-lying Bangladesh with extensive inland waterways and
slack safety standards has a poor record for ferry accidents
with casualties sometimes running into the hundreds.
"Instead of recovering bodies from inside of wreckage, now
we're focused on pulling the ferry (to the river bank)," Saiful
Hassan Badal, deputy commissioner of Munshiganj district, told
Reuters by telephone from the scene.
"We'll get a clearer picture once the ferry is pulled out."
Most of the passengers were city workers and students
heading home for the weekend beginning on Friday.
Passenger Abdur Rahman, 50, who managed to swim to shore,
said passengers had asked the captain to pull into the shelter
of the river bank when a sudden storm struck.
"But he ignored us ... the ferry capsized within a few
seconds," Rahman said.
Another passenger who swam to shore, Liton Hussain, told
reporters he had lost his wife, son and daughter.
Hundreds of people including wailing relatives of missing
passengers thronged the river bank at the site.
(Editing by Robert Birsel)