updated 2/19/2009 6:10:12 AM ET 2009-02-19T11:10:12

A small ferry packed with about 60 people capsized in southern Bangladesh early Thursday after being rammed from behind by a sand-laden trawler, killing at least one person, police said.

Rescuers recovered the body of a woman and some people were believed trapped inside the sunken ferry in the Kirtankhola River, local police official Nuruzzaman Chowdhury said by telephone from the accident site near Barisal town, 75 miles south of Dhaka.

"We don't know how many people are trapped in the sunken boat, but those still believed to be trapped have little chance to survive," Chowdhury said.

He said many passengers were able to swim to shore.

'I have three young children missing'
Chowdhury said a salvage ship reached the scene of the accident as survivors continued to look for their missing relatives.

"I survived by swimming to the shore, but I have three young children missing," passenger Jasmine Aktar, 30, told reporters.

Police seized the trawler and were questioning two crew members.

Chowdhury said the ferry, ML Happy, had been traveling from Barisal to the nearby town of Patarhat.

Ferry accidents, blamed on overcrowding and lax rules, are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of 150 million people.

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