Rubel Mia, a member of Kauljani Union Parishad, said the incident took place around 4 pm when the boatman came in touch of a live wire in mid-river in Gilabari area and got electrocuted.
At one stage, the passengers on board got panicked and began moving in a haphazard way that resulted in the capsize.
“Five bodies have so far retrieved from the spot,” he said, adding that it is unclear how many passengers were on board.
Shafiqul Islam, a fire-man of Fire Service and Civil Defence’s Basail station, said on information, they sent divers to the spot.
The deceased were identified as Taij Uddin, 50, the boatman; Jamela Begum, 60, wife of Miju Mia; Himidur Rahmna Rono, 35, her son; Shah Alom, 25, son of Haidar Ali, and another 32-year-old woman.