At least 32 dead in Bangladesh ferry fire

DHAKA (AFP) – At least 32 people died on Friday (Dec 24) when a packed ferry caught fire in southern Bangladesh, police said.

“The three-storey Obhijan 10 caught fire mid-river. We have recovered 32 bodies. The death toll may rise. Most died from the fire and a few by drowning after they jumped into the river,” local police chief Moinul Islam told AFP.

The incident happened early in the morning near the southern rural town of Jhakakathi, 250 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka.

The accident was the latest in a string of similar incidents in the low-lying delta country criss-crossed by rivers.

Experts in the South Asian country of 170 million people blame poor maintenance, lax safety standards at shipyards and overcrowding.

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