The fire started from the engine room of the ferry, which was sailing on the Sugandha River in Jhalakathi when it caught fire. The ship was headed to Barguna from Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.
Eyewitness footage also show emergency personnel moving bodies after the blaze was extinguished. The charred hull of the ferry can be seen docked by the side of the river on Friday.
The death toll could climb further as more than 50 people have been admitted to hospital, with some passengers still missing and some others in critical condition, said Zohor Ali, Jhalakathi district administrator.