Dhaka (IP)- At least 37 died after packed ferry caught fire early on Friday morning near Jhalokathi, Bangladesh.

Iran PressAsia: Police said the incident occurred in a river near Jhalokathi, 250km (155 miles) south of Dhaka in the early hours of Friday, adding terrified passengers leaped overboard to escape the blaze.

The blaze was believed to have originated in the engine room and ripped through the ferry, which was carrying at least 500 people, many of who were returning home from the capital Dhaka, despite having an official capacity of only 310.  

"We have recovered 37 bodies. The death toll may rise. Most died from the fire and a few by drowning after many people jumped into the river," local police chief Moinul Islam told AFP.

"We have sent some 100 people with burn injuries to hospitals in Barisal," he said 


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