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39 dead in Bangladesh boat tragedy

Dhaka, Sep 26 (UNI): Thirty-nine people were killed when an overcrowded boat packed with Hindu pilgrims sunk in a river in Bangladesh, authorities said on Monday.

Additional District Magistrate and Head of Investigation Committee Dipankar Roy said 21 women, seven men and 11 children were among the 39 fatalities. At least 51 people were still missing. Seven more bodies were found on Monday.

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The tragedy occurred in Karatoa river in Panchagarh on Sunday. Fire officer Sheikh Md. Mahabubul Alam said that rescue operations were on.

Among the dead are Poly Rani, Lakshmi Rani, Amal Chandra, Shobha Rani, Dipankar, Priyantha Rani, Khuki Rani, Pralima Rani, Tara Rani, Shoneka Rani, Falguni Rani, Pramila Rani, Dhanbala, Sumitra Rani, Sufalta Rani, Shimla Rani, Boatman Hasan Ali, Ushoshi Rani, Tanushree Rani, Shreyshi Rani, Bimal Chandra, Shyamli Rani, Jyotish Chandra and Rupali Rani.

Witnesses said the deceased were on their way to a religious gathering at Bardeshwari temple on the other side of the river. The passenger vessel had a capacity of 40 people but it carried more than 120 people when it sank after tilting to one side.

Many people managed to swim to the river bank. But many women and children who could not swim drowned. Hearing the screams of the passengers, locals came running and alerted the administration.

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