The shipping minister Shahjahan Khan was among commuters left stranded in the middle of the Padma river for over two hours on Monday night, when a passenger car ferry became stuck in an underwater shoal part of the way across Bangladesh's biggest waterway.
The minister was eventually transported across the river to Kaurakandi ferry terminal by speedboat.
“Golam Maula Ro Ro ferry was stuck at Lohajang turning point in the middle of Padma River with Minister Shahjahan Khan and a few other Jubo League leaders around 1:30am,” said Sultan Ahmed, executive engineer of BIWTC (Dredging).
“The ferry was commissioned on the Shimulia-Kaurakandi line just two days ago and its master was not familiar with the route. Due to his inexperience and lack of skills the ferry was stuck in the middle of the Padma.”
The ferry was salvaged at around 1pm by a tugboat of BIWTC.
Giasuddin Patwari, the assistant manager of Shimulia ferry terminal, denied that the master was to blame for the stranding.
“The ferry got stuck in the middle of Padma due to poor navigability, not because of the master’s inexperience,” Giasuddin said.