Shajahan Shikder, deputy assistant director (media) of the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters, said that the sunken launch was traced around 11:33am.
According to the duty officer at the control room of Fire Service, the Dhaka-bound ‘MV Morning Bird’ launch from Munshiganj sank in the river around 9:33am after being hit by another launch ‘Mayur-2’ while the launch was anchored in Farashganj ghat.
On information, fire service divers rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation, said the official.
UNB Keraniganj correspondent reported from the spot that the ‘MV Morning Bird’ launch carrying over 150 passengers sank in the river.
According to witnesses, around 50 passengers managed to swim ashore with the help of locals.
However, joint director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), AKM Arif Uddin, said there were 70-80 passengers in the launch and of them 30-40 managed to swim ashore with the help of local people.