At least six persons died and dozens remain missing as a boat with over 50 passengers onboard capsized on Sunday after it was hit by a cargo vessel in Shitalakshya River on the outskirts of Bangladesh capital.

MV Afsar Uddin with at least 50 passengers on board, on the way to Munshiganj, sank after being hit by MV Ruposhi-9 at the Syedpur Al Amin Nagar area around 2:20pm on Sunday, officials said.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) along with the river police, navy and the coast guard have started rescue operations in the area following the accident.

“Six bodies have been retrieved so far, three of them women The rescue campaign is underway for the missing ones, a fire service official was quoted as saying by the private Independent TV channel.

Another official said several more passengers were feared drowned and some of them could be trapped inside the ferry.

Video footage, which went viral on social media and was carried by the TV channels, showed the small ferry appear in front of an advancing huge cargo ship that carried it forward a few yards before it sank quickly.

Nearly 20 passengers were seen jumping off the ferry, known as launch, and some managed to swim ashore or rescued by nearby boats.

Narayanganj district administration officials said fire service divers launched the search campaign with volunteers in the neighbourhood immediately and they were subsequently joined by coast guard personnel.

A ferry sank in Dhaka in June last year after a collision with another vessel, killing at least 32 people.

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