Kolkata: A disastrous accident was averted when a launch that caught fire in the middle of Hooghly near Bally Bridge in Howrah on Tuesday evening. One person fell into the river because of the commotion on the deck of the launch. He too was rescued by the sailors of the boats.
The incident happened at 6 pm when a small launch ferrying nearly 25 passengers from Belur to Dakshineshwar caught fire in the middle of the river. When the launch was near Bally Bridge, which is nearly half the way, passengers found black smoke coupled with flickers of fire coming out of the rear side of the launch. This triggered panic.
“The launch was small. Panicked people started rushing towards the front-side of the launch. With the entire weight on one side of the launch, there was every possibility it could have turned upside down. The driver warned them but nobody was ready to listen. In the midst of this rush, one person fell from the launch. He was holding the railing but as everybody was trying to pull him up, it was creating more problems. We were really scared,” one of the passengers told TOI.
“The nearby boats not only rescued the man but fixed a ladder to the launch and rescued all the passengers. They were taken to Belur and later ferried to Dakshineshwar. It took nearly two hours to fix the situation,” local Trinamool councillor Paltu Banik said.