At Least 26 Die When Speedboat Overturns in Bangladesh River

DHAKA, Bangladesh—A speedboat carrying about 30 passengers overturned after hitting a sand-laden cargo boat in a Bangladeshi river on Monday, leaving at least 26 people dead, an official said.

The speedboat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, said Rahima Khatun, a top government official in the area.

It overturned Monday morning in the mighty River Padma in central Bangladesh while heading for Madaripur district from Munshiganj district, Khatun said.

Speedboat overturns
A man walks past the mangled remains of a speedboat that overturned in River Padma at the Kanthalbari ferry terminal in Madaripur, central Bangladesh, on May 3, 2021. (Abdul Goni/AP Photo)

Divers from various agencies and local people retrieved 26 bodies from the waters and were searching for several others still missing.

Such river accidents are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation crisscrossed by about 130 rivers, because of lax rules.

Bangladesh is under a lockdown until Wednesday amid a rising number of COVID-19 infections.