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Bangladesh ferry toll reaches 63

NAZIRPUR, Nov 30 – Rescuers have retrieved nine more bodies after a ferry capsized in southern Bangladesh, taking the death toll to 63 with dozens more people still missing, police said Monday.

Local police chief Zakir Hossain said nine bodies had been found floating in the Tentulia river, three days after the overloaded MV Coco-4 overturned.

"The death toll is now 63. Since midnight we have found nine more bodies in very bad shape floating on the river," he told AFP.

Hossain said "dozens" more people are still missing and the authorities have asked fishing crews to report any bodies found downstream.

The triple-decked ferry had a capacity of 665 but was packed with more than 1,000 passengers when it began taking in water as it came into dock late Friday on Bhola island.

A salvage vessel turned the boat back onto its hull Sunday afternoon.

Boat and ferry accidents due to lax safety standards and overloading are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by 230 rivers.

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