130 People Believed Drowned Off Bangladesh


As many as 130 people may have drowned off the coast of southern Bangladesh after a boat carrying passengers trying to illegally get into Malaysia sank in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladeshi authorities said Thursday, Nov 1, according to CNN.

The accident appears to be the tragic result of an annual migration of thousands of people along dangerous, clandestine routes operated by criminal gangs.

Details have only recently begun to emerge about the sinking, which happened early Sunday, according to Lt.-Col. Zahid Hassan, the commander of the Bangladeshi border guard battalion in Teknaf, the area from which the boat is believed to have departed.

Just six survivors have been recovered by Bangladeshi authorities from the 136 people reported to have been on the vessel, Hassan said. Authorities are seeking nine people identified as operators of the human trafficking ring that organized the boat trip, he added.

Most of the people on board are believed to have been Bangladeshi, according to Hassan. But some, including three of the survivors, were Rohingya, Muslim people from Rakhine state in Myanmar, or Burma.

The survivors were taken to the town of Maung Gaw by fishermen. The fishermen also reportedly found six bodies, including two women, who they believe to be victims of the boat accident.

Lewa said local sources told her that boats chartered by relatives of the victims had also seen 40 bodies floating at sea on the Burmese side of the border, roughly 20 miles south of Bangladesh.






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