updated 2/5/2004 1:33:31 AM ET 2004-02-05T06:33:31

Two river ferries collided head-on in southern Bangladesh early Thursday and survivors said at least 30 people drowned.

About 150 people were missing after the accident in Meghna River in Barisal district, 75 miles south of national capital Dhaka, according to the survivors.

Several others were injured and taken to hospital, witnesses said.

One of the survivors, Hanufa Begum, said she lost her husband and four other family members in the accident near Kaisma village.

Hanufa was being treated in a hospital for leg injuries.

A police official confirmed the accident but could not provide details about casualties.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said senior police officials went to the scene.

Survivors told reporters in Barisal city that two double-deck boats -- M.V. Sattar Khan and M.V. Asha Jawa -- hit each other at about 2 a.m. local time. The collision damaged the ferries and many of about 800 passengers on board the boats jumped overboard in panic.

The survivors said they saw at least 30 bodies found from either on the river or rubble of the ferries.

The passengers were returning to work after celebration of an Islamic holiday last week.

Boating accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by rivers.

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