At least 40 people, including children and women, drowned as a ferry carrying around 150 passengers capsized in the Padma river in Manikganj, 40 miles from Dhaka, after being hit by a cargo trawler on Sunday.
Conducting a daylong drive, the rescuers have so far recovered 37 bodies, local police officials said. The rescue operation was still on late on Sunday.
The ferry, ML Mostafa, sank into the river after the cargo vessel hit it around 11:45am.
Locals started rescue work immediately after the accident with boats and trawlers. Quite a number of ferry passengers swam to the shore and the rescue vessels.
In a joint operation, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation and naval police rescued at least 60 passengers.
The sunken vessel is yet to be salvaged. Police have seized the cargo trawler and arrested two of its crew, he said. The ferry was heading to Paturia from Daulatdia in Rajbari, located on the opposite bank of the river.
Low-lying Bangladesh, with extensive inland waterways and slack safety standards, suffers regular ferry disasters, with deaths sometimes running into the hundreds. A similar accident on February 13 killed at least seven passengers in southern Bangladesh.
(With inputs from Reuters)