In the latest accident, a ferry, Birshreshtha Jahangir, hit the span between the second and third pillars of the bridge in Louhaganj on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, there were no passengers on the vessel.
In fact, this is the same ferry that hit pier 10 of Padma Bridge on August 9, injuring five passengers and causing damage to three vehicles it was carrying. The ferry was heading to Paturia on Tuesday after repairs at Simulia Ghat when the accident occurred.
Span is the distance between two intermediate supports for a structure. A mast, on the other hand, is a tall spar, or arrangement of spars, erected more or less vertically on the centre line of a vessel.
Syed Tajul Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said that the mast on the top of the ferry collided with the span between pillars 2 and 3 of Padma Bridge and broke.
However, it is unclear whether Padma Bridge has suffered any damages.
"The accident occurred because of the negligence of the master of the ferry. The mast was supposed to be lowered before crossing the bridge. Without doing so, the mast broke after hitting the span of the bridge," the chairman said.
“It's a small matter. But we will still investigate it thoroughly,” he added.
There have been five more cases of ferries hitting the pillars of the bridge this year. General diaries have been filed, inquiry panels have been formed and ferry drivers suspended over these accidents.
It may be mentioned here that authorities have suspended ferry services on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route since August 18 to avoid such accidents.