Ferry with up to100 aboard capsizes in Bangladesh

Updated 3:25 a.m. EST

DHAKA, Bangladesh A passenger ferry capsized Friday after colliding with another ship on a river in central Bangladesh, dumping as many as 100 people into the water, officials and witnesses said.

Police said there were no immediate reports of casualties after the ferry, MV Sarash, went down on the River Meghna in Munshiganj district, 20 miles south of Dhaka.

There was confusion over the number of passengers on board the ferry at the time of the accident, but those at the scene said some people were missing.

Khokon Mollik said he had yet to locate neighbors who were on the ferry, including 17 members of a family who were traveling to a funeral. "We have found none of them yet," Mollik said.

A 12-year-old passenger, Omar Faruk, said he couldn't find his mother.

The private television station Channel-I said local villagers rescued more than 40 people after the accident. Several other people were able to swim to shore, the report said.

The station put the number of passengers at more than 100, though a local police official said it was about 80. The president of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport and Passenger Service, Badiuzzaman Badal, said the ferry was carrying just over 50 passengers.

Ferry accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of 153 million people, and it is frequently unclear how many people are aboard the often overcrowded vessels.

The MV Sarash was on a local run from Narayanganj city to Matlab in the south when it went down.

Local government administrator Mohammad Saiful Hasan said a salvage vessel had reached the scene and a rescue operation would start after the sunken ferry was located.