At least 16 people were killed and some 200 others injured on Friday after a fire ripped through a passenger ferry in Bangladesh, according to officials.
The accident took place aboard the Barguna-bound MV Abhijan-10 on the Sugandha River in Jhalakathi, reports the Dhaka Tribune.
According to the police and fire personnel, the blaze broke out at around 3 a.m. when the ferry reached the Dapdapia area.
Health officials have said that the toll is likely to increase as some of the wounded had sustained critical burn injuries.
Jhalakathi Deputy Commissioner Md Zohor Ali said that as many as 70 people have been admitted to the Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barishal, reports bdnews24.
Many passengers jumped into the river in a desperate bid to save their lives as the fire raged for about three hours, said the bdnews24 report, adding that the ferry was was packed with passengers when the accident occurred.
Kamal Hossain Bhuiyan, deputy director of the Barishal Fire Service, said authorities suspect the fire may have started in the ferry’s engine room.
Five units of firefighters are conducting a rescue operation but the efforts were complicated by the thick fog over the river.