At least 25 people were feared drowned on Monday after a sand-laden boat collided with another bigger vessel and capsized in the river Meghna in Central Bangladesh, police said.
"The incident occurred in central Chandpur district when 50 labourers were traveling on the ill-fated boat. Out of them, 25 were rescued by other boats nearby," Chandpur's police chief Krishna Pada Roy told PTI.
The missing people, he said, were feared to be trapped inside a cabin of the boat where they were asleep as the accident took place early morning.
Roy said fire officers and local divers carried out a daylong search operation at the scene to track down the boat and recover bodies.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) rescuers were also called in to join the rescue works with salvage boats.
Survivors and rescuers said dense fog coupled with darkness of the night could have caused the tragedy. Movement of small country boats or cargoes were prohibited by an earlier official directive from the government.
Faulty vessel designs, overloading and poor safety standards every year claim a number of lives in riverine Bangladesh, criss-crossed by some 230 rivers but most such accidents take place during stormy monsoon seasons.