(Reuters) – A Bangladesh ferry carrying around 50 passengers collided with a cargo vessel and sank on Sunday in the Shitalakhsyaa River south of the capital Dhaka, leaving at least five people dead and many more missing, officials said.
The ferry, which departed from Narayanganj district about 20 km (12 mies) from Dhaka, was travelling to Munshiganj, police official Kabir Hossain said.
“The rescue operation for those missing is ongoing,” he said, adding some of the passengers managed to swim ashore.
The boat was packed with people rushing to go to their hometown after the government announced a week-long nationwide lockdown from Monday to tackle a spike in the COVID-19 cases.
Bangladesh reported a record daily jump of 7,087 coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking its total number of cases to 637,364 with 9,266 deaths.
Hundreds of people die each year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, a low-lying country that has extensive inland waterways but lax safety standards.