As of filing the report at 9:43pm, police, fire service and locals are jointly conducting the rescue operation. Locals said the passenger boat started for Brahmanbaria from Champaknagar ghat of Bijoynagar upazila at around 6:00pm.

On the way to its destination, the boat collided with a sand-laden vessel at Laiska canal of Pattan union. The boat capsized as another sand-laden trawler rammed it from behind.

Locals recovered bodies of 19 including two children and eight women till 9:00pm. Police and fire service personnel later joined in the rescue operations.

The victims include Anjana Biswas, wife of Porimol Biswas of Ajampur in Bijoynagar, Farida Begum, wife of Jodge Mia and Minara Begum of Champaknagar.

Identities of the rest of the victims could not be known immediately.

Brahmanbaria deputy commissioner Hayat-ud-Daula told journalists that the families of the victims would be given Tk 20,000 each.

A three-member probe body has been formed to investigate the incident, he added.

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