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May 26, 2017

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Nearly 120 feared drowned in Bangladesh

MUNSHIGANJ, Bangladesh--Rescuers in Bangladesh searched Tuesday for the wreckage of a heavily overloaded river ferry that sank, amid growing anger among relatives of nearly 120 people still missing.

The ferry was packed with people returning home from Eid celebrations when it went down in rough conditions around 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of the capital Dhaka on Monday.

Hundreds of distraught relatives have gathered on the riverbank for news of the missing, among them Mohammad Sumon, 25, whose younger sister is missing.

"I have been waiting here since yesterday, but they have yet to locate the boat let alone try to lift it," Sumon told AFP.

"I have given up hope of finding my sister alive, but there would be some consolation in finding her body."

Around 100 survivors were pulled from the waters on Monday, and four bodies have been found.

Bangladesh Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said the search for the sunken vessel had been extended.

"My cousin's three daughters were also on the ferry. One of their bodies has been found, two are still missing," Khan told reporters.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, with overcrowding and poor ship design and maintenance often to blame.

Bangladeshi ferries do not maintain passenger logbooks, and it is not known exactly how many people were on board when the ferry sank after being engulfed by large waves.

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