Two ferries carrying passengers in Majuli collided against one another on September 8, leading to chaos and panic in the middle of the Brahmaputra river as people tried to save themselves from drowning.
Ferries capsize in the middle of Brahmaputra
One of the ferries called ‘Ma Kamala’ was travelling from Neematighat in Jorhat to Majuli island, while the other ferry called ‘Tripkai’ was coming from the opposite direction from Majuli to Neematighat.
According to reports, one of the ferries was carrying about 100 passengers and some vehicles capsized after colliding with the other one.
Some of the passengers are said to have drowned in the Brahmaputra river then and there when the ferries started sinking. Meanwhile, some people who were on the ferries are still missing.
In the video, some people were contemplating whether to jump into the water and save their own lives or hold on to their belongings. While many are seen to have not appeared above water level after the whole ferry sank. This grows concerns as to whether they drowned or not. People who didn’t know how to swim stayed on the overturned ferry for quite some time due to growing fears of drowning.
On the other hand, materialistic items are seen on the ferries which might have been a source of living for some. Others tried to help those who were latching on for dear life on the sinking ferry.
Upon hearing the news, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have launched their rescue operations.
Former Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal tweets
The former Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbanda Sonowal, tweeted that he is “anguished to learn of the ferry incident in Majuli”. Before moving to the Union Cabinet, Sonowal represented the Majuli constituency as an MLA from the years 2016 to 2021.
He also added that he has talked with the current Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma regarding the saddening accident and that the latter has informed him of the ongoing rescue and relief operations at the moment.
The former CM has also directed the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to provide all the required support and necessities to help the victims of this ferry disaster.
Ferry disasters in the Brahmaputra
The last notable ferry disaster took place on April 30 of 2012, when a ferry with about 350 passengers overturned in the Brahmaputra river which is in the Dhubri district area of Assam. The incident occurred when the ferry which was carrying about 300 passengers was caught in the heavy storm leading to it being capsized.
According to news reports, this disaster took place due to poor safety standards and that this has been the worst ferry related accident so far that has taken place in the Brahmaputra river.
This 2012 ferry disaster took place near a village called Fakiragram village in the Dhubri district which is about 350 km west of the city.
According to police reports, the ferry didn’t have any lifeboats nor life jackets and was overloaded with people and their goods. The passengers were mostly farmers and families from the local area.