World Bulletin / News Desk
Bangladeshi recovery teams have found 45 dead bodies in the week since a ferry carrying hundreds capsized near the capital city Dhaka on August 4.
The Pinak 6 ferry was thought to be carrying more than 250 people, 115 of whom were rescued, but the recovery operation has now been scaled down with the national water authority, navy, coastguard and fire service all withdrawn on Sunday morning.
Two salvage vessels belonging the Chittagong Port Authority will continue to search for the sunken ferry and dead bodies in the Padma River, local deputy commissioner Saiful Hassan Badal told reporters on Sunday.
Alongside the official salvage operation, locals have tried to locate the ferry using the own method called "Koppa", which involves attaching bricks and anchors to a 1,200-feet-long rope and dragging it along the riverbed to catch any metal objects.
The overloaded ferry, which was equipped to carry only 85 passengers, was only travelling along a short 16-kilometer route but because of excessive loads was tipped over by strong winds.
Passengers were returning to Dhaka for work after spending the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, which mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, with their families.
Rescuers have struggled to recover the boat and many of the bodies, which were swept away by a strong current in the Padma River -- which also runs through neighboring India and is popularly recognized as the Ganges.
In the last 20 years, 5,500 people have been killed in 658 ferry accidents in Bangladesh according to the National Committee to Protect River, Road and Railway, which researches such accidents. Investigation committees rarely produce reports, resulting in very few convictions for responsibility and no compensation for families.
A relatively small country, Bangladesh has around 800 rivers and tributaries, making boats, ferries and steamers the main option for thousands travelling across the country.Last Mod: 11 Ağustos 2014, 10:13