At least 17 people, most of them teachers and students of a madrasa, drowned as a trawler capsized in a haor in Netrakona's Madan upazila this noon.
The trawler, carrying 48 passengers, capsized in Gobindasree haor around 12:00pm. Madrasa teachers and students, along with guests and guardians from Char Sirta union of Mymensingh Sadar upazila were on a trip at the haor.
Following the capsize, fire service and civil defence divers rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies, says Sub-Inspector of Madan Police Station Shamsul Islam.
At least 30 people managed to swim ashore, the police official added.
The deceased were identified as Hafez Maulana Md Mahfuzur Rahman (35) principal of the madrasa, his two sons Masqur Hasan (11) and Mahbub Hasan (17) both madrasa students; Mahfuz's nieces Lubana Akter (12) and Julfa Akter (9); Maulana Zakir Hossain (25), madrasa students Mujahid (16) and Hafez Jubayer (25); Hafez Maulana Hamidul Islam (35), Saiful Islam Ratan (30), Jahidul Islam (20), Shafiqul Islam (40) and Shahidul Islam (35) and a farmer Ichha Mia (40).
All of the deceased were from Konapara and nearby villages in Char Sirta union of Mymensingh's Sadar upazila.
A pall of gloom has descended over the village in Konapara nearby villages after news of the capsize reached the area, said Md Fazlul Haque, an 80-year-old from the village.
Freedom fighter Idris Ali, who lost his eldest son Maulana Hamidul Islam in the incident said his son had been home as his madrasa in Munshiganj was closed during the coronavirus pandemic.