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5 dead, 32 injured as overbridge collapses near Mumbai's CST; second such incident in 8 months

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Five persons, including three women, were killed and 31 injured after major portion of a foot overbridge near a busy train station in south collapsed Thursday evening, officials said.

The bridge, which connected the area near the building with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station station, was commonly called 'Kasab bridge' as the 26/11 attack terrorist passed through it during the strike.

All the injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals, a disaster management cell said.

Just after the incident, Police had tweeted: "Foot over-bridge connecting CST platform 1 north end with B T Lane near building has collapsed. Injured persons are being shifted to hospitals. Traffic affected. Commuters to use alternate routes. Senior officers are on spot."

The deceased were identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Bhakti Shinde (40), (32) and T Singh (35), said

Prabhu and Tambe were staff members of the G T Hospital, the said.

The tragedy comes eight months after another bridge collapsed in suburban Andheri, in which five persons were killed.

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.

A 45-member team of the has been rushed to the site for rescue operations.

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 said.

"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.

Another eyewitness said most of the victims were walking on the overbridge on their way to the when it collapsed.

"Thankfully, when the bridge collapsed, it was red signal at the nearby road, otherwise several people would definitely have been crushed under the rubble," said a taxi driver, who luckily escaped the tragedy.

Soon after the disaster, elected representatives and local party leaders rushed to the spot amid raging political blame-game.

Arvind Sawant, the from the Shiv Sena, dubbed the incident as most unfortunate and said, "This ill-fated bridge was placed under the minor-repairing after the audit of all the bridges in the city. Action will be initiated against the responsible officials."

Local BJP MLA also visited the spot and demanded immediate action against the who had declared the bridge as "safe".

"Strictest action should be taken against the who declared this bridge as safe and he should be arrested right now. He is responsible for the entire disaster," he said.

Local corporator 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, of Mumbai.

"I have discussed the issue with as well as with CR General Manager D K Sharma, BMC chief and (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.

Meanwhile, said murder charge should be slapped on structural auditors who inspected the bridge and the BMC officers who appointed them.

"I demand that structural auditors who carried out the inspection and structural audit of the bridge be booked under IPC section 302 (murder)," he said.

"Mumbaikars feel very much unsafe in the city, considering the frequent incidents of bridge collapses," the former said.

"I am not politicising the issue, but hollow promises are not going to serve the people anyway. This is failure of the government and the system," he added.

activist demanded that all the bridges, inspected by the engineers who had declared the ill-fated bridge as safe, be re-inspected.

"This incident puts a question mark over the competence of engineers and structural auditors who inspected bridges in Mumbai. They should be prosecuted and blacklisted," Galgali said.

On July 3 last year, portion of a road over-bridge had collapsed in suburban Andheri. had then announced a joint of all 445 bridges in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety.

Following the order, the railways, the (BMC) and the IIT-had conducted the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 23:45 IST