Bangladesh Ferry Carrying 200 People Capsizes Near Dhaka

A ferry with around 200 passengers on board capsized in a Bangladeshi river on Thursday, killing at least 12 people.

The M.V. Miraj-4 ferry capsized in stormy weather in the Meghna river about 17 miles from Dhaka at around 3:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. ET). Police said around 40 people had managed to swim ashore.

"We fear there will be more bodies inside the vessel and we cannot be sure of the number of passengers (on board)," Saiful Hassan Badal, deputy commissioner of Munshiganj district, told Reuters by telephone from the scene.

A child's body was among the first six recovered, police officer Oliur Rahman said.

A rescue vessel sent from Dhaka reached the scene three hours after the tragedy.

Bangladesh has a history of ferry disasters, with casualties sometimes running into hundreds due to overcrowding and lack of enforcement of safety standards such as numbers of lifeboats.

- Reuters