(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –At least 37 people have been killed and about 100 others injured after a packed ferry caught fire in southern Bangladesh, local officials say.
The blaze on the three-decked vessel started mid-river near the town of Jhalakathi as it sailed from the capital Dhaka to the town of Barguna.
Some of the victims drowned after jumping into the water.
The number of casualties in Friday’s disaster is likely to increase as many of the passengers have severe burns.
As many as 500 people were reportedly on board the vessel.
The fire is believed to have started in the engine room and quickly spread as the ferry travelled along the Sugandha river in the early hours, fire services official Kamal Hossain Bhuiyan told local media.