The incident occurred around 8pm on Wednesday near Bhasanchar in Munshiganj’s Gazaria, police said quoting witnesses.
The sand-laden cargo vessel had crashed into the trawler, carrying at least 75 passengers, in the river’s estuarial point between Bhasanchar, Comilla’s Mollakandi and Chandpur’s Nabipura, said Gazaria police’s Sub-Inspector Md Habibur Rahman.
He said both vessels were spotted later around half a kilometre from the scene of the accident near the riverbank.
Witnesses said the cargo vessel had hit the trawler at the front. Driver and the crew had ditched the cargo vessel and fled right away.
One of the passengers, ‘Pias’, 25, said the trawler was on its way to Chandpur’s Beltoli.
He managed to swim ashore along with many others, but said he could not find his 3-year old niece. Many others were seen at the riverbank waiting to find their family members.
Munshiganj’s Superintendent of Police said all measures were afoot to find the missing passengers.
Deputy Commissioner of the district Md Saiful Hasan Badal said fire service divers were also called in along with other forces to conduct the rescue operation.