1 May 2012

More than 100 feared dead in India ferry sinking

8:40 am on 1 May 2012

Rescue workers fought heavy wind and rain to search for survivors after more than 100 were feared drowned on an overloaded ferry that sank at night on one of India's largest rivers.

The boat was reported to be carrying 300 people on the Brahmaputra river in a remote region of Assam state, close to China and Bangladesh.

Assam police chief Jayanta Narayan Choudhury said about 100 people were rescued after the boat sank on Monday.

Police said people were sitting on the roof of the ferry when it tipped over in a storm and rescue efforts were being hampered by heavy rain and almost zero visibility.

Eyewitnesses told police the vessel was old and broke in two after capsizing in the swollen river.

The boat was overloaded with people and sacks of rice, among other goods, and carried no lifeboats or life jackets, a police officer said.