At least 66 people, including a baby, have been killed after a ferry carrying about 140 passengers capsized in Bangladesh.
According to Sky News, a rescue operation is under way after the vessel collided with a cargo ship and began to sank, but it remains unclear how many passengers are missing.
Dozens of people managed to swim ashore after the crash, officials have claimed.
“We don’t have a clear picture about how many were exactly in the ferry when it sank – but I think many have survived,” said Inspector Zihad Mia.
One survivor, Hafizur Rahman Sheikh, added: “The passengers who were on the deck have survived, but many who were inside got trapped.”
Shajahan Khan, the shipping minister, said: “A probe committee has been formed and they have been directed to find out the real cause of this sad incident within seven days,” he said.
Ferry disasters are quite common in Bangladesh. Overcrowding is common, and according to naval officials, 95% of small and medium-sized boats across the South Asian nation do not meet minimum safety requirements.
In August, a ferry designed to carry 85 people capsized on the Padma River with more than 200 passengers on board – killing 100.
The boat’s owner went into hiding for several weeks, but was eventually arrested and charged with culpable homicide.