At least 12 dead as ferry sinks in Bangladesh storm


At least 12 people have died and five are missing after a packed ferry capsized in storms in north-east Bangladesh, officials say.

The ferry was carrying about 35 passengers including many school children, local official Mohammad Babul Mia told the BBC.

The accident took place in Sunamganj district, about 140km (85 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka.

Ferry accidents are fairly common on Bangladesh's vast river network.

Last November, 118 people were killed in two ferry accidents in Bangladesh within a week.

Mr Mia said that most of the dead in the latest disaster were school pupils.

He said that passengers on the roof of the vessel managed to swim ashore.

A rescue operation is still continuing, he said, with the help of local people and police. But it was hampered by the lack of divers in the north-east of the country who could search for those still missing.

In recent days Bangladesh has been hit by bad weather which local people say created big waves and made the boat capsize in a huge wetland.