An old bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway near Mahad collapsed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning in the Raigad district in the Konkan region due to heavy rains.
About eighty per cent of the bridge built over the Savitri River gave away at about 2 am. The number of casualties has still not been ascertained and rescue operations are underway. However, among the vehicles that have likely been swept away are two state buses carrying 18 passengers, two bus drivers and two conductors. One of the buses was traveling from Jaigarh to Mumbai and the other was traveling from Rajapur to Borivali.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted at 2.30 am saying he had spoken to the Raigad Superintendent of Police and Collector regarding the mishap on the Mumbai-Goa Highway.
“Administration has rushed to the spot for rescue and immediate measures. There were two parallel bridges. One is a new bridge and one was constructed during the British era. The old one collapsed.”
The chief minister also said the primary reason for the bridge collapse seems to be the flooding of River Savitri due to heavy rains in the catchment area of Mahabaleshwar. He also added that immediately after the incident there was no confirmed assessment of casualties since the area was very dark.
WATCH VIDEO: Mumbai-Goa Highway Bridge Collapses, Dozens Missing
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force rushed to the spot for rescue operations. The Coast Guard also launched a helicopter at 8.30 am to search for people swept away from the bridge.
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 3, 2016
The new bridge was closed for operations immediately after the old bridge collapsed to check its structural stability. One-way traffic had resumed on the new bridge by 9 am on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took cognisance of the incident on Wednesday morning and assured all cooperation in relief work.