India ferry disaster leaves 100 dead, 100 missing

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Indian rescue teams hunted for bodies in the Brahmaputra river on Tuesday after a ferry sinking left at least 105 dead, with more corpses feared to have been flushed downstream into Bangladesh. The vessel was split in two while navigating the fast-flowing river in India’s northeastern Assam state, and police said about 100 passengers were still missing. Despite an operating capacity of 225, some 350 people were believed to be on the two-deck boat when it broke up mid-stream during torrential, pre-monsoon rains.
The boat sank near the riverside town of Dhubri, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the border with Bangladesh. “I appeal to Bangladesh to help us in retrieving any dead body or survivors who could have reached their territory,” Assam state chief minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters, saying a formal request had been made to the Dhaka government. The Brahmaputra, which is eight kilometres wide at the scene of the accident, flows through northeastern India into Bangladesh and out into the Bay of Bengal. Gogoi added that an inquiry would be launched, but rescue efforts remained the priority.