At least 37 killed in ferry fire in southern Bangladesh

At least 37 people have died and a further 72 have been injured following a fire that swept through a river ferry in southern Bangladesh on Friday, officials say.

The blaze broke out at about 3am on the MV Avijan-10 off the coast of Jhalokati district on the Sugandha River.

The United News of Bangladesh news agency quoted fire officer Kamal Uddin as saying the ferry was carrying 800 passengers from Dhaka, the capital, to Barguna, nearly 155 miles to the south.

Some passengers jumped off the vessel and swam to the shore

Fire officer Fazlul Haque said rescuers have recovered 37 bodies and rescued 72 injured passengers.

He said the rescue mission is continuing and the death toll is likely to rise.

Ferry accidents are common and are often blamed on overcrowding and lax rules in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by about 130 rivers.

Ferries are a leading means of transportation, especially in the southern and northeastern regions.

In April, 25 people died after a ferry collided with another vessel and capsized outside Dhaka. –Reuters

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