updated 1/4/2009 12:00:09 AM ET 2009-01-04T05:00:09

Dozens of people were missing Sunday after an overcrowded boat carrying mostly women and children capsized in a river in eastern Nepal.

More than 50 people were believed on board the boat and only six were rescued from the Saptakosi river, about 250 miles southeast of the capital, Katmandu, government official Durga Bhandari said.

Police and fishermen were searching for survivors, but fog and cold weather was making their work difficult, Bhandari said.

Most of the people on the boat were women and children, said Bhandari. Travel by boat has become necessary because many roads and bridges were damaged by flooding during the monsoon season.

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