Roads and Highway Department (RHD) has restricted vehicular movement on one of the four lanes of the busy First Bangladesh-China Friendship (Buriganga-1) bridge in Postogola since 6:00pm, as a crack developed after a rescue ship hit the bridge today noon.
"We have suspended vehicle movement totally from 9:00pm today. We will take further measure after our experts visit the site at 9:00am tomorrow," Sabuj Uddin Khan, additional chief engineer (Dhaka Zone) of RHD, told The Daily Star.
He said initially they wanted to allow only light vehicles to ply the bridge but police told them that it would be difficult to maintain vehicle categories during the night, so they have taken the decision to restrict movement of all types of vehicles.
People were requested to use Second Buriganga Bridge (Babu Bazar).
Earlier at 6:00pm, RHD suspended vehicular movement on one of the four lanes of the bridge.
The salvage ship of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) was going towards Sadarghat Launch Terminal from Narayanganj to rescue the capsized launch on the Buriganga River. At least 32 dead bodies were recovered after a larger launch hit and sank a smaller vessel near the terminal today.
BIWTA chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq, however, said the crack that developed in the bridge was not major.
"The master of the salvage launch wanted to reach the accident spot as early as possible. So he might have made the mistake," he told The Daily Star.
As the salvage ship could not cross the bridge, they were carrying out the rescue operations using alternative means, the BIWTA chairman said.
"The operation will continue until the situation improves," he added.
Sabuj Uddin Khan said they visited the bridge and found damages on its girder, which is an important part of the bridge's construction. He said the lane which was restricted was on the Dhaka-Mawa route.
"After tomorrow's visit with experts, if we find that more lanes need to be closed, we will do it," he added.