Fire has swept through a river ferry in southern Bangladesh, leaving at least 37 dead and 72 injured, as passengers jumped off the vessel and swam to the shore, officials said.
The blaze broke out around 3am on Friday on the MV Avijan-10 off the coast of Jhalokati district on the Sugandha River.
The United News of Bangladesh news agency quoted fire officer Kamal Uddin as saying the ferry had been carrying 800 passengers from Dhaka, the capital, to Barguna, nearly 250km to the south.
Fire officer Fazlul Haque said rescuers had so far recovered 37 bodies and rescued 72 injured passengers. The rescue mission was ongoing and casualties were likely to go up, he said.
There was no word on what caused the fire.
Ferry accidents are common and often blamed on overcrowding and lax rules in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by about 130 rivers. Ferries are a leading means of transportation, especially in the southern and north-eastern regions.
In April, 25 people died after a ferry collided with another vessel and capsized outside Dhaka.