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Crowded trawler sinks in Bangladesh river, most of its 200 passengers swam or were rescued

A trawler carrying up to 200 passengers has sunk in a river in southern Bangladesh, and many were rescued or swam ashore. At least five people died.

Local government administrator Kazi Tofayel Ahmed said the boat failed to stay afloat in a strong whirl on its way to a coastal landing station Friday afternoon in the River Payra in Barguna district. The location is near the Bay of Bengal.

Ahmed, quoting survivors, said rescuers recovered at least five bodies from the water while two people were missing. Most of the passengers either swam ashore or were rescued by fishing boats.

He said many of the passengers were travelling to join an Islamic discussion when the boat capsized.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh because of overcrowding and lax safety measures.