In a horrific incident, one ferry sank in the Brahmaputra River in Assam after it collided with another ferry near the banks of Majuli Island. The capsized ferry, named Maa Kamala, had approximately 120 passengers on it, and several among them are missing. The passenger boat was moving from Nimati Ghat near Jorhat to Kamalabari in Majuli, where it collided with a goods carrier vessel and sank soon after.
According to reports, around 60 to 65 people are missing and are feared to be drowned. According to eyewitnesses, the ferry Maa Kamala was around 100 meters away from reaching the bank at Kamalabari in Majuli when it collided with the other ferry travelling in the opposition. The boat turned over after that, and some passengers managed to climb onto the body of the vessel, who were saved by other boats present at the ghat.
All the people travelling in the other boat have been rescued, as the vessel remained on water and was immediately anchored to the port.
A video of the incident has emerged on social media, showing people climbing onto the outer hull of the vessel even it turns upside down. They were rescued by another boat that had reached the spot to help them.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have already reached the spot and started rescue operations. It is estimated that around 30-35 people have been rescued so far, by both locals and rescue teams. The rescued persons include a 2 months old kid, who was saved.
As the incident happened in the evening, the rescue operations have become difficult due to darkness.
The sank ferry was also carrying 4 cars and more than 20 two-wheelers, all of which are under water now. The capsized boat has been located by the divers, while the other vessel has already been pulled to the river bank.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted that he is “pained at the tragic boat accident near Nimati Ghat, Jorhat.” He informed that he has informed Majuli and Jorhat administration to undertake rescue work, and also asked minister Bimal Borah to rush to the site.
Former Assam CM and union Ayush and Shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had represented Majuli assembly constituency, also tweeted that he is anguished to learn of the incident. He informed that he has directed the union shipping ministry to provide all necessary support to help the victims.
Due to heavy rainfall in the last several days, the water of the Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger level at various places, including Majuli.