Dhaka: At least seven persons, including four women, were killed today when a ferry with 70 people on board capsized after a storm hit southwestern coastlines of Bangladesh.
The ferry capsized in a river in Patuakhali district after the storm called `kalboishakhi` (nor`wester) hit Galachipa area.
"Seven bodies, four being of women, have so far been recovered by local rescuers while the search campaign is underway," Patuakhali`s deputy commissioner or administrative chief Amitabh Sarkat told reporters.
He added a salvage vessel was expected to join the rescue campaign within hours to retrieve the sunken ferry as many people could be trapped inside the vessel.
Officials could not confirm the exact number of the passengers aboard the ferry plying on a local route, but a survivor who swam ashore safely said the number could range between 70 and 100.
"As the storm began I came out of the cabin of the launch...As we understood it is going to sink I jumped into the river along with my wife and young son and almighty saved us," Mohammad Palash told reporters on the bank of the Galachipa River.
Local residents said nearly a dozen people managed to swim ashore while the fire service, police and local residents launched a campaign with boats in search of the missing.