Pope Expresses Sympathy for Ferry Victims in Bangladesh

VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II sent a message of sympathy to the relatives of the victims of the shipwreck in Bangladesh.

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The M.V. Nasreen nose-dived into the turbulent Meghna River, near the town of Chandpur, around midnight Tuesday, while many of the passengers were asleep. The ship had left from Dhaka.

Officials estimate that 200 to 800 people are missing. The newspaper Ittefaq speculated the toll was closer to 1,000, making it one of the worst ferry disasters in the country’s history, Agence France-Presse reported.

In a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, to the civil and religious authorities of Bangladesh, the Pope “commends the victims to the loving mercy of the Almighty, and upon their grieving families and all those injured he invokes divine strength and comfort.”

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