At least 17 people including four women and two children died as a launch, carrying over 50 passengers, capsized in the Buriganga River near Shyambazar on Monday morning.
Shajahan Shikder, deputy assistant director(media) of the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters , said the bodies were retrieved from the sunken launch after it was traced around 11:33am, reports United News of Bangladesh.
According to the duty officer at the control room of Fire Service, the Dhaka-bound launch from Munshiganj sank in the river around 9:33 am after being hit by another river vessel.
On information, fire service divers rushed to spot and started the rescue operation, said the official.
UNB Keraniganj correspondent reported from the spot that the ‘MV Green Bhat’ launch carrying around 60-70 passengers sank in the river.
"Three firefighting units are conducting the rescue operation," said officer-in-charge of Sadarghat River police station Rezaul Karim Bhuiyan.
According to witnesses, around 40 passengers managed to swim ashore with the help of locals.
AKM Arif Uddin, joint director at BIWTA (Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority), said a salvage ship, 'Hamja', left Narayanganj for Dhaka to rescue the sunken launch.
He said most of the passengers had been able to swim ashore. Fire service divers are working to rescue the missing passengers, he added.