One dead as boat carrying over 100 sinks in Bangladesh

DHAKA (AFP) - One person has died and at least five more are missing after an overcrowded boat carrying at least 100 Muslim pilgrims sank in Bangladesh, police said.

The boat was heading to a Sufi shrine for an annual gathering when it capsized on a river estuary in the south of the country.

"I talked to a survivor who said the boat was packed with 100-150 passengers, local police chief Saiful Islam told AFP.

"One body has been recovered. But we believe most others have swam ashore or have been rescued by fishing trawlers." A police inspector at the scene said at least five people were reported missing, Bangladesh ferries do not keep passenger lists, making it impossible to find out the exact number of people missing after a boat accident.

The country is criss-crossed by more than 230 rivers and boats are the main form of travel.

Officials have said more than 95 percent of Bangladesh's hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations.