Officials say a fishing boat carrying migrants to Malaysia has capsized off the coast of Bangladesh and about 20 people are missing.

Government official Nurul Bashar Chowdhury says rescuers saved 39 people after the boat sank early Thursday in the Bay of Bengal. He said survivors reported that up to 60 people were on board when the boat sank in strong currents.

He said rescuers were searching for more survivors.

Local administrator Ruhul Amin said the passengers were being taken by traffickers to Malaysia for unconfirmed jobs.

Traffickers attract people from across Bangladesh with false promises of jobs in many foreign countries including Malaysia.