Six dead, at least 19 missing as Bangladesh ferry sinks

DHAKA (AFP) - Six people were dead and at least 19 others were missing after a ferry capsized on Saturday when it was caught in a storm in the south of Bangladesh, a government official said.

The ferry, MV Shatil, sank in the middle of a river near Kalagasia, some 200km south of the capital Dhaka.

"About a dozen passengers survived by swimming ashore. Survivors told us another 25 people were in the ferry when it sank," district government administrator Kazi Sayemuzzamanhe said.

"Local people have so far recovered six bodies," the official added.

A salvage vessel was headed to the spot to lift the sunken boat, he said.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed with more than 100 rivers.

Most of the accidents occur during the storm season between April and June.

Experts blame poorly maintained vessels and overcrowding for most of the tragedies.