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26 killed in Bangladesh boat crash



No less than 26 people have been killed after a packed speedboat collided with a vessel transporting sand in Bangladesh.

The police confirmed on Monday the speedboat was carrying about 36 passengers from the town of Mawa when it slammed into the other vessel on the Padma River near the rural town of Shibchar.

“We have so far recovered 26 bodies, including a woman. We have also rescued five injured people, including three children,” Amir Hossain of the Shibchar Regional Police said.

Hossain said the bow of the passenger boat was destroyed when the speedboat smashed into the side of the transport vessel and quickly sank.

A top government official, Rahima Khatun, who also confirmed the incident, said the speedboat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

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“The driver of the speedboat would be investigated as he appeared to have hit the transport vessel, which was moored at the time.

“A probe has been ordered into the accident,” Khatun added

An eyewitness, Abdur Rahman, told the police that there was a loud noise when the boats collided and the vessels then overturned.

“When we rushed to the spot, we found the speedboat torn into two pieces. Hundreds of villagers immediately started conducting rescue work before they were joined by police and the fire brigade,” he said.

By Isaac Dachen…

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