At least 5 dead, 30 hurt in Mumbai footbridge collapse
14 Mar 2019
Onlookers and office goers gather around injured people after a footbridge collapsed outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway complex in Mumbai. Agence France-Presse
Mumbai: At least five persons were killed and another 30 injured, including some critically, when a portion of a overhead pedestrian bridge outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus came crashing down on Thursday.
The victims included three women - Apoorva Prabhu, 35, Ranjana Tambe, 40, and Bhakti Shinde, 40. The two men killed were identified as Zahid Siraj Khan, 32 and Tapendra Singh, 35.
The incident - the third footbridge collapse in the city in the last 18 months - occurred around 7.35 p.m. as the bridge was reportedly overloaded with commuters hurrying to their homes, the BMC Disaster Control said.
Connecting the CSMT’s suburban platform No. 1 with the B.T. Lane near The Times of India Building and the Anjuman-e-Islam School, it was used by thousands of daily commuters rushing to catch the local trains on Central Railway and the Harbour Line.
The injured have been rushed to the St. George Hospital and G. T. Hospital, besides Sion Hospital, said officials.
Politicians from several parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Shiv Sena, the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and others rushed to the site and activists helped in the rescue operations.
Officials claimed that the bridge was found to be sturdy after a recent structural audit and only needed a few minor repairs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the deaths and said the Maharashtra government is providing all possible assistance to all those affected.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal expressed “sincere condolences to the family of the victims” and said the railway doctors and personnel are assisting the local authorities grapple with the tragedy.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was “pained” to hear of the tragedy, and spoke to BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Mumbai Police and instructed them to ensure speedy relief efforts.
On the other hand, former Union Minister Milind Deora said it was absolutely unacceptable that the bridge collapsed just six months after a structural audit and demanded a case of murder be lodged against the BMC officials responsible for this negligence.
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan also demanded stringent action against the officials responsible for negligent administration which cost five human lives.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik condoled the deaths and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
A foot over bridge at the Elphinstone Road railway station had crashed on September 29, 2017, killing 29 commuters, while on July 3, 2018 when a portion of the foot over bridge crashed on the railway tracks near Andheri station, killing at least one and injuring many more.
After the two previous tragedies, the BMC, the Railways and other agencies had carried out a survey of all new and old railway bridges, flyovers, and foot over bridges, to ascertain any dangers and take preventive measures.
On account of the falling debris, peak hour traffic towards Byculla and Dadar and beyond was diverted, creating massive snarls across south Mumbai. Rail traffic remained unaffected.
Work on removing the debris was on in full swing and the traffic was expected to be restored on the D. N. Road towards north Mumbai shortly, an official said.
Last year, a portion of a 40-year-old bridge collapsed in South Kolkata, crushing a man to death and leaving 19 injured and several vehicles damaged.
The incident threw normal life in large parts of South Kolkata and South 24 Parganas district off gear, as train services and vehicular traffic were disrupted.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who confirmed one death, expressed apprehension about the fate of five-eight people who might be buried in the rubble. Nineteen injured people have been admitted in two city hospitals, she told the media in north Bengal’s Darjeeling and announced a probe into the incident.
Locals, however, claimed five people have been killed in the bridge collapse.
At least 20-25 injured people have been rescued by fire officials while more people are feared trapped under the rubble, officials said.
“A part of the Majherhat bridge between Taratala and Mominpur collapsed around 4.30 p.m,” a fire official said. Initially six fire tenders were pressed into service.