At least 21 die in Bangladesh boat capsize

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At least 21 people died when a Bangladeshi passenger boat sank with more than 100 aboard, and the driver of a cargo vessel suspected of colliding with the boat has been arrested, officials say.

About 50 passengers were missing after the sinking on Friday evening in a large open body of water the eastern district of Brahmanbaria, according to initial reports from officials and Bangladeshi media.

Bangladesh is a delta nation where water transport is heavily used to move people and goods. But deadly accidents are common because of unskilled operation and poor enforcement of safety rules.

The cargo boat's driver and two assistants were caught by locals in the Bijoynagar area and turned over to the authorities, said Anisur Rahman, district police superintendent.

He said efforts to recover more bodies were ongoing.

Police official Imranul Islam provided the figure of 21 dead, speaking by phone late Friday.

A witness said two cargo vessels hit the boat, which sank quickly, Dhaka-based The Daily Star newspaper reported.

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