Rescue operations continue as people are also reportedly missing after the collision between a packed boat carrying at least 30 passengers and a vessel transporting sand in the Padma river near the town of Shibchar.

Policemen inspect a speed boat that was carrying passengers when it collided with a vessel transporting sand killing at least 26 people, in Madaripur on May 3, 2021
Policemen inspect a speed boat that was carrying passengers when it collided with a vessel transporting sand killing at least 26 people, in Madaripur on May 3, 2021 (AFP)

At least 25 people have been killed in a collision between two boats in central Bangladesh, police said.

"We have rescued five people and retrieved 25 bodies," local police chief Miraz Hossain said on Monday.

The collision was between a packed boat carrying at least 30 passengers and a vessel transporting sand in the Padma river near the town of Shibchar.

More people were reportedly missing while fire service officials and locals continued rescue operations, another policeman said.

READ MORE: Bangladesh ferry collision leaves dozens dead

Frequent occurrence

Maritime accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers.

Experts blame poor maintenance, lax safety standards at shipyards and overcrowding for many of the accidents.

Vessels transporting sand sit low in the water and can be hard to see in choppy conditions, particularly when light is poor.

In early April, more than 30 people died when a packed ferry with around 50 passengers hurrying home from the central city of Narayanganj ahead of an impending coronavirus lockdown collided with a larger cargo vessel.

In June last year, a ferry sank in Dhaka after it was hit from behind by another ferry, killing at least 32 people.

In February 2015, at least 78 people died when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo boat.

READ MORE: At least 15 Rohingya refugees drown as boat sinks off Bangladesh coast

Source: AFP