A ferry carrying more than 250 passengers sank in a south Bangladesh river on Tuesday after colliding with a barge, and at least 150 people are still missing, police and witnesses said.

The accident occurred on the Meghna river in Munshiganj district, some 50 km (31 miles) south of the capital.

Mohammad Azizul Alam, deputy commissioner for the district, said the Dhaka-bound ferry, the MV Shariatpur-1, was hit by the oil-laden barge early in the morning.

At least 50 people managed to swim ashore from the sunken vessel, and a search is being conducted for the rest of the passengers.

Ferry accidents are common on Bangladesh's rivers and several people are killed every year.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; editing by Miral Fahmy)