A speedboat is seen ashore after it collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank on Padma River, in Madaripur, Bangladesh, May 3, 2021.

At least 26 people died after an overcrowded speedboat collided with a sand-laden bulk carrier and sank on Bangladesh’s giant Padma River on Monday.

The local police chief Miraz Hossain disclosed the news in a statement on Monday, 3 May.

According to Hossain, the collision happened between a packed boat carrying at least 30 passengers and a vessel transporting sand in the Padma river near the town of Shibchar.   

At least five people were rescued and 25 bodies were recovered. Several others were reportedly missing and fire service officials and locals were continuing with rescue operations, Reuters reported.

Maritime accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers. Experts blame poor maintenance, heedless of safety standards at shipyards and overcrowding for many of the accidents.  

Vessels transporting sand sit low in the water and can be hard to see in choppy conditions, particularly when light is poor.  

In early April, more than 30 people died when a packed ferry with around 50 passengers hurrying home from the central city of Narayanganj ahead of an impending coronavirus lockdown collided with a larger cargo vessel.  

Last year June, nearly 32 people died after a ferry sank in Dhaka after it was hit from behind by another ferry.

In February 2015, at least 78 people died when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo boat.

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