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5 dead, 36 injured as bridge collapses near Mumbai's CST, third such incident in 18 months

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 15 March 2019, 12:19 AM
Efforts are on to clear the debris of the footover bridge. (Image Credit: ANI)
Efforts are on to clear the debris of the footover bridge. (Image Credit: ANI)

Five persons, including three women, were killed and 36 injured after a major portion of a foot overbridge near a busy train station in south Mumbai collapsed on Thursday evening. The bridge, which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, was commonly called 'Kasab bridge' as the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the strike.

The deceased have been identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Sarika Kulkarni (35) and Tapendra Singh (35). Prabhu and Tambe were staff members of the G T Hospital, the official said. Some reports claim that two injured are in critical condition.  

Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against concerned officials of Central Railway and BMC under section 304A (Causing death by negligence) of IPC at the Azaad Maidan Police Station.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and said a high-level committee will probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old over-bridge collapsed.

"The injured persons will get Rs 50,000 each and the government will bear the cost of their treatment," Fadnavis said, adding that officials found responsible for the incident will be booked.

"I have ordered a high-level inquiry into this unfortunate incident which puts a question mark over the authenticity of the structural audit of bridges carried out across the city," he added.

Expressing grief on the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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."

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala targeted the BJP government at the Centre and state and demanded Railway Minister Piyush Goyal's resignation. "Modi Government and Maharashtra Govt are criminally culpable for inaction leading to repeat tragedies-: 29/9/2017-Elphistone Stampede. 3/7/2018-Andheri Bridge Collapse. Rly Min’s tall claims of Audit have failed time and again. Rly Min, Piyush Goyal must resign or be sacked," he tweeted.

Maharashtra Minister Vinod Tawde said the bridge was not in bad condition and just required minor repairs.

“A slab of the bridge had collapsed. Railways and BMC will conduct an inquiry into its maintenance. 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,” Tawde said. 

"The state will provide for the treatment of the injured...We will give further update to you as and when we get information," he added.

Fire brigade personnel are removing the debris of the bridge. (Image credit: ANI)

Ministry of Railways has extended supports to the victims. "The bridge was of BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). However, we're extending all our supports to the victims. Railway doctors and personnel are cooperating with BMC in relief and rescue operations," the ministry said.

According to reports, the bridge - managed by the BMC -  was 'fixed and revamped' in 2016. 

An eyewitness said the over-bridge was being used by pedestrians even as repair works happened in the morning. Several motorists were also under the bridge when it came down, which led to an increase in the number of injured, an official said.
"Fire brigade personnel reached the spot immediately and rescue work is in full swing. We have appealed the motorists to avoid the D N Road to JJ Flyover section," he said.
Local Shiv Sena corporator Sujata Sanap said she had alerted concerned officials about the unsafe structure, but they did not act in time.
Speaking to reporters, she said, "I have been pursuing the issue of this unsafe bridge since long and also wrote so many letters to officials but they were ignored."
The bridge collapse will be jointly probe by the BMC and Central Railways officials, said Vinod Tawde, District Guardian Minister of Mumbai.
"I have discussed the issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as with CR General Manager D K Sharma, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and joint police commissioner (L&W) Deven Bharti. The railways and the BMC will jointly inquire the accident," Tawde told reporters.
"The audit report of the BMC had found a need of minor repairs to the bridge," he said.
Earlier in July 2018, an over-bridge had collapsed at a railway station in Mumbai's Andheri suburb during heavy rains, disrupting train services, injuring five people and putting the spotlight once again on the creaky infrastructure of this metropolis.

In September 2017, a foot over-bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations had collapsed, leading to a stampede in which 22 people were killed and several injured.

Some persons are feared dead, disaster management cell sources said.

First Published: Thursday, March 14, 2019 07:48 PM
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