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At least 37 die after ferry capsizes in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A Bangladesh ferry sank during a tropical storm overnight, leaving at least 37 people dead and 150 missing, rescue officials said this morning.

The double-deck M.V. Maharaj was carrying about 200 people when it capsized last night in the Buriganga River.

''We have so far found 37 bodies and rescuers were looking for dozens still missing," said Mahbubur Rahman, a government administrator in the area.

''The accident happened in darkness and it's still unclear how many people died or survived."

He said many passengers were rescued by villagers and fishing boats.

The ferry was traveling from Dhaka to the eastern town of Chandpur when gusty winds struck it. The ferry went down near the town of Pagla outside Dhaka.

Thousands of people gathered on the banks of the river to look for their loved ones.

''I'm looking for my brother, his wife, and their 1-year-old son," said Dhaka businessman Mujibur Rahman.

Authorities ordered an investigation. Ferry accidents are common in this South Asian nation crisscrossed by rivers. A ferry capsized in eastern Chandpur during a storm in July 2003, killing more than 500 people.

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