A Bangladeshi ferry with hundreds of passengers on board has capsized and sunk in a river near the capital Dhaka, with police reporting that 22 bodies have now been recovered.

Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury reporting from Dhaka said that the shipping minister informed local media that 35 have been rescued.

About 40 people were able to swim to shore. As of Friday morning, about 100 people remain unaccounted for.

"We are receiving confusing figures on how many passengers were on board when it sank, but the number could range from 200 to 350," district government administrator Saiful Hasan told AFP news agency.

The MV Miraj-4 ferry capsized in stormy weather in the Meghna river at Rasulpur in Munshiganj district, south of Dhaka. The accident occurred at around 3:30 pm local time.

The ferry had been going to Shariatpur from Dhaka.

Local police chief Ferdous Ahmed also confirmed the recovery of the bodies, including those of women and children.

"The ferry is completely under water. We are now trying to locate it," Ahmed told AFP, adding that a salvage vessel and fire service divers were headed to the spot from the capital.

He said the navy and coast guard were sending rescue teams and a ship had been sent from Dhaka.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies