A VEHICLE packed with schoolchildren returning home from a soccer tournament has crashed into a canal in Bangladesh, killing at least 40.
About 60 children between the ages of eight and 12 were on the vehicle that crashed today, and the death toll may rise as more bodies are feared trapped inside the sunken vehicle, police said.
Rescuers recovered 40 bodies from the wreckage in Chittagong district, 216 kilometres southeast of Dhaka. Police could not immediately say how many survived.
After the students watched the tournament, a cargo truck was hired to return them home.
“According to several witnesses the boys were singing and dancing on board the truck,” a police official said. “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 festivals or celebrations.
Local journalist Mohammad Palash, who visited the site of the accident, said rescuers sent the bodies to hospitals.
Hundreds of anxious people gathered at the site to look for their loved ones.