Dhaka: A boat packed with passengers capsized on a river in northeastern Bangladesh, and rescuers said on Sunday at least 37 people died and 18 more were missing.
The boat carrying about 80 people collided with a sand-laden cargo vessel in the darkness late Saturday on the River Surma, local government officials Abul Hashem and Matiur Rahman said.
They spoke to a news agency by telephone from the scene of the accident in Sunamganj district, about 110 miles (175 kilometres) northeast of the capital, Dhaka.
Some survivors swam to shore or were rescued by local villagers. The death toll reached 37 after rescuers recovered two more bodies on Sunday. Thirty-five bodies were found soon after the accident, the officials said.
On Sunday, rescuers were still searching for about 18 people who have been reported missing, the two officials said.
All the dead were from the passenger boat. Dhaka`s Prothom Alo newspaper reported most were women and children.
The boat was travelling from Sunamganj to the neighbouring Kishoreganj district.
Boat accidents, blamed on lax rules and unfit vessels, are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of more than 230 rivers.