DHAKA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) — At least 12 people have been killed and 18 still missing after a ferry capsized in the river of Sondha in Bangladesh's Barisal district, 169 km south of capital Dhaka, on Wednesday.

The district's police chief SM Aktaruzzaman told Xinhua that the ferry carrying scores of passengers sank at about 11:30 a.m. local time Wednesday .

"The bodies of two women, two children and eight men have already been recovered, " said the official.

He said rescue efforts and a search for the missing are under way by the Fire Service and Civil Defence authorities.

The cause of the incident is attributed to the inclement weather conditions.

"At least 18 people are still missing as the small ferry capsized amid violent winds and huge waves," Aktaruzzaman said.

Ferry and boat disasters are common in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by about 250 rivers. Ferry is still a key means of transport in the country, most of them are often overcrowded.