According to M.D. Selim of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, the Morning Bird was backing down and departing its slip at the time of the collision.
For the time being, rescue divers have retrieved 32 bodies from the wreck, including the remains of three children, while the search continues. The low visibility in the muddy Buriganga River has complicated the search and recovery effort.
The head of BIWTA, Golam Sadeqk, told AFP that the vessel was properly licensed through September and that it was not overcrowded at the time of the casualty.
After the collision, the authorities commenced an investigation to determine the factors that led to this fatality; Sadeqk indicated that human error is the suspected cause. At least 50 and as many as 100 people were on board at the time of the capsizing.
While a local outlet, BDnews24, reported that the BIWTA salvage vessel Protya allided with the First Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge over the Buriganga while trying to respond to the casualty. The vessel reportedly struck a girder and could not proceed beyond the bridge due to the river's high water level.