"Estimates varied as to how many people were on board the ferry, some claiming 200, other saying close to 300."
Dhaka, May 16 - A day after an overloaded ferry capsized on Meghna river drowning scores of passengers, the Bangladesh government Friday ordered a probe into the reasons behind the disaster, media reported.

Shipping ministry spokesperson Jahangir Alam Khan said the three-member investigation committee would be headed by Sirajul Islam, an engineer and ship surveyor with the mercantile marine department.

The ferry, Mirage-4, carrying between 250 and 300 passengers, left Bangladesh's capital Dhaka for southern Shariatpur district and capsized in a storm near Daulatdia in Munshiganj Thursday afternoon, bdnews24.com reported.

Divers have recovered a total of 28 bodies from the sunken ferry which was pulled onto the river bank by a salvage ship

A fire service officer said the ferry has experienced accidents twice in the past.

Authorities have blamed the ferry's captain and overloading of the vessel for the accident.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, however, claimed that the ferry was not overloaded with passengers.

Many passengers were able to swim ashore after the ferry capsized, Hossain said, but could not immediately tell how many passengers were missing.

Estimates varied as to how many people were on board the ferry, some claiming 200, other saying close to 300.

Hundreds of relatives of the ill-fated passengers Friday gathered at the accident site searching for their missing kin.


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