Jamal said the largest boat was trying to drop its anchor in a port on the Buriganga River at the time of the accident. He added that there were at least eight women and three children among the deceased, and that the Morning Bird sank very quickly, in about 15-20 seconds.
Shahidul Islam, an official with the Bangladesh Fire Service, told CNN: "So far we have recovered 32 bodies from the capsized ferry. We have already released the bodies to family members. A joint team from the Navy, water authorities and private divers together with the river the police are working on the rescue mission. "
Navy diver Nazrul Islam brought two bodies to the surface, but believes there could be more people inside the boat. He said the boat lies about 60-70 feet deep in the river bed, which consists of soft earth and plastic trash.
A four-member committee was formed to investigate the accident, said Commodore Golam Sadeq, head of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transportation Authority.
When word of the accident spread, hundreds gathered on the riverbank. The crowd included family members of the missing, some of whom hired a boat in an attempt to find their loved ones.