Rescue operations are underway to salvage the sunken ferry
Rescue operations are underway to salvage the partially sunken Amanat Shah ferry at Pontoon No. 5 in Paturia Ferry Ghat area of Manikganj. The incoming ferry from Daulatdia ghat partially sank in the pontoon area with 14 goods laden trucks and a few motorcycles.
No injuries or deaths were reported from the sunken ferry until 12:30 pm on Wednesday. However, the diving team is continuing the rescue operation. Officers and employees of various departments including police and fire service are present at the accident site. Rescue ship ‘Hamza’ is also operating.
Swapan Bhattacharya, a passenger of the sunken ferry, said that the passengers and vehicles started unloading at Pontoon No. 5 of the ferry terminal. In the meantime, the water started to rise in a hurry on the ferry. Within one and a half to two minutes, the ferry sank to the right.
He left his motorcycle on the ferry, jumped into the water and swam to the shore. So far his motorcycle has not been recovered. There were no buses or private cars on the ferry, he said, adding that there were several motorcycles and 15/16 freight trucks.
Sareng Mukhlesur Rahman, in-charge of the ferry, said the ferry tilted and sank at one stage after unloading the vehicles at the ghat. The amount of water in the submerged area is less. There is not much current in the river. He is not aware of how the ferry sank.
A diver, who did not want to be named, said he has led rescue attempts to salvage the sunken ferry several times. Rescue operations are being hampered as another truck is stuck on top of one another. He said the rescue operation was ongoing.
A BIWTC official, who did not want to be named, said the ferry started sinking as soon as it arrived at the Paturia ghat. After unloading the ram of the ferry, the passengers got down from the ferry. At that time, two trucks got off the ferry at great risk. In the meantime, the ferry tilted and sank.
Asked about this, Manikganj Superintendent of Police Golam Azad Khan said, "Hundreds of policemen are on duty at the accident site." Rescue operations are underway to salvage the sunken ferry. The details of the accident will be informed later.
Zillur Rahman, DGM of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation's Aricha office, said the rescue ship Hamza had arrived at the accident site. Rescue operations are underway. There were 17 trucks on the sunken ferry. Of these, two trucks have been able to land on the shore. The rest are still on the ferry. No casualties were reported till 12:30 pm.