Munshiganj, Bangladesh (BBN)- The death toll from Thursday’s launch capsize in the Meghna River in Gazaria upazila climbed to 31 with the recovery of 18 more bodies on Friday.

The launch, MV Miraj-4, capsized during a storm at Gazaria of the country’s central Munshiganj district, was carrying about 200 passengers on its way to Shureshwar in Shariatpur from Sadarghat terminal in the capital Dhaka on Thursday.

Salvage ship 'Praotay' is conducting the rescue operation.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, accompanied by local lawmaker Advocate Mrinal Kanti Das and BIWTC Chairman Dr Shamsuddoha and Deputy Commissioner Saiful Hasan, is supervising the rescue operation, according to reports.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people including family members of victims and missing passengers thronged the shore near the accident spot.
They were found wailing and chanting slogans against local administration due to the "delay" in rescue operation.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena expressed his deepest condolence to the victims and their family members.
Mr. Mozena also thanked the people who were assisting with rescue and recovery operations, a US embassy press statement said in Dhaka on Friday.

Update:BBN/SSR/AD-16May14-11:55 pm (BST)