DHAKA: A vehicle packed with schoolchildren returning home from a soccer tournament crashed into a canal in southeastern Bangladesh on Monday, killing at least 40, a police official said.
About 60 children between ages 8 and 12 were on the vehicle that crashed, and the death toll may rise as more bodies are feared trapped inside the sunken vehicle, police official Iftekhar Hasan said.
Rescuers recovered 40 bodies from the wreckage in Chittagong district, 216 kilometers (136 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka. Hasan could not immediately say how many survived.
After the students watched the tournament, a cargo truck was hired to return them home, he said.
“According to several witnesses the boys were singing and dancing on board the truck,” said the official. “The truck skidded off the muddy road and turned (over) as it plunged into the canal.”
In Bangladesh, it’s usual to hire cargo trucks for a quick ride to carry large groups during celebrations.
Hundreds of anxious people gathered at the site to look for their loved ones. (AP)