Updated: March 14, 2019 10:25:46 pm
A portion of a foot over bridge in Mumbai connecting the north end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) with BT Lane near Anzuman Islam School collapsed on Thursday evening. According to the officials, five persons have been killed while several people have reportedly been injured. This is a second major incident of a bridge collapse in the last one year since the Andheri tragedy in which 2 people died.
The injured have been taken to Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital and St. George hospital where they are being administered treatment.
According to the police officials, the incident happened around 7.30 pm when a large portion of the bridge fell on Dr D N Road disrupting north-bound traffic on J J Flyover. Commuters have been asked to use alternative routes, a police official said.
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There are reports of at least 12 people buried under the debris. An NDRF team from Regional Response Centre (RRC) is at the site conducting search and rescue operations.
DCP Abhishek Trimukhe said, “Mumbai police to register an offence under section 304 (A) (causing death due to negligence) in connection with the case.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives. He tweeted, “Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected.’
Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2019
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The collapse of a foot overbridge in Mumbai is deeply saddening. My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones in this accident. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
Reacting to the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he is pained to hear about the tragedy.
Pained to hear about the FOB incident near TOI building in Mumbai.
Spoke to BMC Commissioner and @MumbaiPolice officials and instructed to ensure speedy relief efforts in coordination with @RailMinIndia officials.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 14, 2019
Fadnavis announced that Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of the victims while the injured will be given Rs 50,000 and provided medical treatment by the government. He added that a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident and that strict action will be taken against those responsible.
He said, “Have issued orders for high-level inquiry into the matter. The bridge was built in 1980. After the last mishap in the city, a structural audit was ordered. Audit was done. Commissioner said that the bridge was deemed fit with minor repairs. Even if something like this happens after audit, it is sad. Raises a question on structural audit and will also be inspected, an offence will be registered. Will take strict action on this against responsible, under section of Culpable Homicide.”
Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawade said that the Railways and BMC will conduct an inquiry into the incident. “A slab of the bridge had collapsed. Railways and BMC will conduct an inquiry into its maintenance. The bridge wasn’t in a bad condition, it required minor repairs for which work was underway. Why was it not closed until the work was completed, it’ll also be probed,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Alleging negligence on part of the authority, Congress has asked for stringent punishment for those responsible. Congress leader Milind Deora said, “So many bridges collapsing. Audit report was submitted by BMC six months ago, which cited “minor repairs”. Who is that auditor?”
After the collapse of the Gokhale bridge in Andheri last year, the BMC had carried out a structural audit of 296 bridges, which included FOB, bridges, flyovers, skywalks. The audit had revealed that 18 bridges — 10 major bridges and eight FOBs — needed demolition and reconstruction. According to the officials from the Bridge department, this FOB was not in the list of 18 bridges that were needed to be demolished and reconstructed.
The structural audit of this bridge was, however, recently done and the report had stated that the bridge only needed minor repairs.
Since it was peak hour and people were leaving from office it was crowded at the time of the incident. This bridge had earlier gained infamy after 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab was photographed on the said structure during the Mumbai terror attacks. Post the attack many of the locals referred associated the bridge with Kasab’s name.
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