Bangla ferry mishap toll climbs to 112

Dhaka: With the recovery of scores of bodies from the wreckage of a ferry that capsized in Bangladesh, the death toll climbed to 112 today as rescuers and naval divers wrapped up the salvage operation after raising the ill-fated vessel from the river bed and bringing it to the shore.

The ferry `MV Shariatpur-1` had collided head-on with a cargo vessel and capsized at 3 am local time yesterday in Meghna river, trapping most of the estimated 300 passengers on board in one of the worst boat tragedies in Bangladesh in recent times. The sunken double-decker vessel was retrieved from under 70 feet waters, 37 hours after it capsized in the river in Munshiganj area, and towed to the river bank, officials said.

The death toll rose to 112 after rescuers recovered scores of bodies today, they said, adding the salvage operation had been wrapped up. The dead included women and children, the officials said. "… possibilities are bleak about finding more bodies," Munshiganj`s police chief Shahabuddin Khan told PTI. He said relatives in small boats who had joined navy, coastguard and fire service operators in searching for the missing people had withdrawn gradually.

Officials said all the bodies recovered today were inside the vessel while the 36 bodies retrieved yesterday were found floating on the river around the accident scene at Gazaria area of suburban Munshiganj. Many people still remained missing but authorities could not specify their number. Witnesses from the scene earlier said a salvage vessel pulled up the backside of the ill fated Shariatpur-1 ferry upwards through a crane, allowing rescuers to look for bodies inside.