A Meghna River ferry crossing to Dhaka, Bangladesh has been hit by an oil tanker and sunk. The accident happened at around 3am when most of the passengers were sleeping. 50 people have been rescued from the water but the rest, estimated at between 150 and 250, have yet to be found. Divers believe the boat, the Shariatpur 1 is 20m (70 ft )below the surface. Firm numbers are not known as passengers often buy their tickets on board and can arrive up to the moment of departure. It is known that there were many families with children on the ship.
The multi decked ferry was about 32km (20 miles) south of Dhaka at the time of the accident travelling from Shariatpur. The Meghana River is 12 km (7 miles) wide and on average is 308m (1012ft) deep. Accidents on all of Bangladesh's rivers are frequent as operators tend not to follow the safety regulations