EDINBURGH, Scotland — A seriously ill 73-year-old British cruise passenger was accidentally dropped into the bitterly cold Norwegian Sea last month by rescue workers taking her off the ship to a hospital, police said Thursday.

Janet Richardson spent four minutes treading water after Norwegian coast guard officers let her stretcher slip into water that was just a few degrees above freezing, rescue officials and her husband, George, told The Associated Press. She spent a week in intensive care and remains hospitalized in England, he said.

“The stretcher went into the water and she fell into the water too as she was not strapped in. She had a life jacket on and I could see her swimming, treading water and trying to stay afloat,” he said.

Norwegian police said they have launched an investigation into the March 29 accident, and Norwegian Sea Rescue spokesman Ernst Larsen said the coast guard also was conducting a probe.

Ferry sinks in Bangladesh; 28 dead, more missing

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A crowded ferry carrying about 100 passengers capsized in a river in eastern Bangladesh on Thursday, leaving at least 28 people dead and more feared missing, a police official said.

Local police chief Jamil Ahmed said villagers and rescuers plucked 28 bodies from the River Meghna in Brahmanbaria.

Many survivors were able to swim ashore, but the number of missing was unclear, he said. The head crew member survived, as did some guards on the ferry.

The boat apparently went down after hitting the wreckage of another cargo ferry that sank a few days ago during a storm, Ahmed said.

By Thursday evening, rescuers stopped their search for the day to resume on Friday, he said.