A ferry packed with 1,500 passengers bound home to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha capsized in at Nazirpur area in southwestern Bangladesh drowning seven people, officials said.
However, unofficial sources put the toll as high as 25 with the accident happening as the people were about to disembark at the terminal.
The three-deck ferry MV Como was bound for coastal town of Bhola from Dhaka when it tipped after reaching the destination with its rear portion sinking into the sea.
Rescuers later retrieved seven bodies following an overnight salvage campaign, Superintendent of Police, Bhola told PTI.
He said searches were still on to find out if more people had drowned. The police official said dead included four children and two women.
"People were drowned as they got trapped inside the cabins," the police chief said adding that most of the passengers, however, swam ashore safely or were rescued by smaller boats as the mishap happened close to the shore.
Eye-witnesses said the passengers became panicky after hearing a loud noise at the lower deck, and made a scramble to disembark, fearing it had cracked.
The state-run Bangladesh Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) officials said a salvage vessel was expected to reach the scene to retrieve the launch.