|A car rolled off the deck and smashed through a barrier of the CNM Evolution ferry before falling into the water on July 4, 2012. (DAVID PELLETIER/QMI Agency)
RIMOUSKI, Que. — Passengers on a St. Lawrence River car ferry escaped injury when a car rolled past them, tumbled into the water and sank to the riverbed Wednesday night.
Transport Canada will investigate the crash, which happened about three hours northeast of Quebec City.
The ferry had just left the dock in Rimouski at about 8 p.m. when the car started to roll off the deck and smashed through a barrier before falling into the water.
"I heard a noise and two employees arrived at the scene," a passenger told QMI Agency.
"Employees motioned to the ferry captain who circled around the vehicle."
Staff quickly decided to do a head count to see if anyone was inside the car, but all passengers were accounted for.
"The passengers didn't panic, but the atmosphere was tense," the eyewitness said.
Ferry officials say it's the first time they can remember losing a car.
The car belonged to a ferry employee.
The CNM Evolution is a catamaran that can accommodate 30 cars and 175 passengers.
The craft connects Rimouski and Forestville, about an hour away on Quebec's north shore.