The third incident of a ferry hitting the bridge in two weeks
A ferry has once again slammed into a pillar of the under-construction Padma Bridge, just four days after a similar incident.
The ferry ‘Kakoli’, which was on the way to Shimulia Ghat from Banglabazar, hit pillar No 10 a little after 7am on Friday, said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Marine Safety and Traffic Management Department Assistant Director Shahadat Hossain.
According to people familiar with the matter, the ferry lost control due to strong currents and hit the pillar instead of coming through pillars number 11 and 12.
Ferry Master Badol Hossain said that the vessel sustained a crack after the collision as it was above water level but no casualties were reported.
The pillar, however, was not damaged, he added.
“The Kakoli, being a mechanical ferry, was difficult to control in strong currents and had risks of colliding into the Padma Bridge pillars. So, I had written to the authorities to transfer the ferry to another route on Wednesday.
"Although the BIWTC authorities were informed recently, the Shimulia ghat authorities did not take any action," he added.
The incident occurred just hours before State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury’s scheduled visit to the Shimulia-Banglabazar waterway.
Following the incident, he visited the Padma Bridge area and the Majhikandi Ghat in Madaripur at around 10am.
At the end of the visit, he said although there was no significant structural damage, the repeated incidents of ferries colliding into the Padma Bridge was quite jarring.
“A high-level meeting has been called today [Friday] where we will reach a solution so that such incidents are not repeated,” he added.
Earlier, inquiries were opened and operators were suspended over similar incidents on July 23 and August 9.
Our correspondent Shamima Rita from Munshiganj contributed to this report