The Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported there were more than 100 people aboard the ML Saros boat when it went down after a collision with a sand-carrying cargo vessel in the Munshiganj district.
The boat had left the Narayanganj terminal about 7 a.m. Friday and was bound for Chandpur, when the incident occurred an hour later, the agency said.
It quoted witnesses as saying some passengers managed to swim to shore, but the fate of others was not known immediately. The report said the head of the Narayanganj launch owners association confirmed the incident and that local people had seized the sand-laden cargo vessel.
Bangladeshi authorities said rescue vessels had been dispatched to the scene.