Four ships under repair at the Agrawal Brothers Group (ABG) Shipyard at Magdalla collided with the Magdalla Bridge in the early hours of Wednesday,damaging it badly. No casualty was reported.
Traffic was suspended after the incident,and only light vehicles were allowed to ply on the bridge after getting a go-ahead from experts. It is suspected that due to a high tide in the Tapi,the knot on the 53-metre long,870.28 tonne UK-based Lanalco companys vessel loosened,and it drifted towards the bridge. Three other vessels tied to the vessel followed it and collided with each other. The collision damaged nearly a 100-metre portion of the bridge.
According to sources,there were around five people onboard when the incident occurred. They immediately jumped into the river and saved themselves. The machinery staff and other experts of the ABG Shipyard rushed to the spot with two water cranes and pulled back the four vessels to the jetties. Several passers-by witnessed the incident and informed the Icchapore police,who rushed to the spot and cordoned off the bridge.
Road and Building department officials and experts from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Institute of Technology (SVNIT) also inspected the site. The teams examined the structural stability of the bridge. According to experts,the damage was likely to run into crores. P N Ramani,technical expert from SVNIT,lodged a complaint against the ABG management with the police.
Surat District Collector Dilip Rawal has sought a detail report from the ABG Shipyard. He said: We are looking into the incident and a team has been formed to investigate the matter. The police will investigate independently.
ABG Shipyard official Shubhash Ghantayat said: It was not a man-made accident. We have set up a team to find out the facts. We dont use anchors when ships are under repair.