A bus and two freight trucks have sunk into the Kocha River after a lighter barge rammed into a ferry in Pirojpur’s Bekutia.
The incident occurred around 1am on Wednesday, said Bekutia Port Supervisor Md Rafiqul Islam. Service on the Kurimara-Bekutia ferry has been halted due to the accident.
Two people have been injured in the accident, the supervisor said. The bus passengers were able to disembark before it sank.
The halt in ferry service has caused heavy traffic congestion on the Khulna-Pirojpur-Barisal regional highway.
Police, coast guard, road division workers and the fire service are working to recover the ferry, said Barisal Fire Service and Civil Defence Assistant Director Md Matiur Rahman.The ferry was carrying a bus, five trucks and three pickup vans from Kurimara to Bekutia, said Barisal BIWTS Ferry Division Executive Engineer Mohammad Shamimul Haq.
A lighter barge (which carries cargo to and from a larger ship) rammed the ferry and broke the back plate as it was partway on its journey. The ferry driver managed to land it on a nearby sand bar.
But water began rushing through the breach, eventually flooding over half of the ferry. A Kuakata Express bus and two trucks sank into the river.Another ferry is being arranged, said Executive Engineer Haq. He hopes service can resume after it arrives in the afternoon.