Mrunal Manmay Dash

More than 50 passengers are feared trapped in the middle of the Chilika lake after a floating bridge vessel (Bhasa Pola) ferrying them got stranded midway on Thursday.

As per reports, the floating bridge managed by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to ferry people across the lake was heading for Satapada from Jahnikuda under Krushnaprasad block in Puri when the incident occurred.

Sources said, the bridge vessel got detached from the main channel and stuck midway. It was carrying 10 two-wheelers and two busses along with 50 passengers.

As per the latest reports, the CDA has been informed about the incident and efforts are on to rescue the trapped passengers.

It is worth mentioning here that instances of stranding of floating bridge vessels managed by CDA are frequent in the lagoon.

In February, 2020, several commuters along with their bikes, four wheelers and a bus travelling from Janhikuda ghata to Satapada were trapped on the floating bridge in the middle of Chilika waters near Brahmagiri. The bridge had gone out of track due to heavy wind.

Similarly, in October 2020, the second floating bridge of Chilika Lake commissioned just a month back in September, 2020, capsized partly. It was commissioned by the CDA in addition to the first one on September 15.

It was anchored at the Janhikuda bank when it was noticed being partly submerged in the water. The lower chamber containing engine had inundated.