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September 20, 2014

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Bangladesh ferry capsizes; at least 22 dead

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AP Photo/Sony Ramany

Bangladeshi people gather on the banks of the River Meghna after a ferry carrying more than 100 passengers capsized and sank after being hit by a storm in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh, Thursday, May 15, 2014.

MUNSHIGANJ, Bangladesh — Rescuers have recovered at least 22 bodies after a ferry capsized during a storm in a river in central Bangladesh, officials said Friday.

Police estimated at least 100 people were still missing, but there was no clear picture about exactly how many people were on board because the ferry operators did not maintain a passenger list, said a local administrator, Saiful Hasan.

Sabuj, a passenger who jumped overboard when the ship began to sink, said he was among some 25 people who managed to swim to safety.

He said the captain of the double-decker ferry ignored the passengers' calls to stay close to the shore as the storm started brewing.

"But he continued to steer the ship" out into the water, said Sabuj, who uses one name.

Relatives of the missing and the dead were gathering near the Meghna River, near where the boat capsized Thursday afternoon in Munshiganj district. Several recovered bodies, covered in cloth, were on the banks of the river, according to television footage.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation, because of overcrowding, faulty vessels and lax rules.

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