Mumbai Bridge Collapse: Six killed, 34 injured; BMC officials booked for laxity
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and said a high-level committee will be set up to probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old over-bridge collapsed.
Mumbai: Six people, including three women, were killed, while more than 30 got injured after a footover bridge connecting CST station to Azad Maidan Police Station collapsed on Thursday evening, officials said.
The deceased were identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Bhakti Shinde (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32) and T Singh (35), said police spokesperson Manjunath Shinge. Later, Mohan Kayagude (40) also passed away due to his injuries. All the injured were admitted to nearby hospitals, a disaster management cell official said.
The bridge, near platform 1 BT Lane, which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station station, was commonly called 'Kasab bridge' as the 26/11 Mumbai strike the terrorist had passed through it during the attack.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Milind Deora 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 MP said.
Just after the incident, Mumbai Police had tweeted: "Foot over-bridge connecting CST platform 1 north end with B T Lane near Times of India building has collapsed. Injured persons are being shifted to hospitals. Traffic affected. Commuters to use alternate routes. Senior officers are on spot."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to injured. He also said a high-level committee will be set up to 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 National Disaster Response Force was rushed to the site for rescue operations. 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.
An eyewitness said the over-bridge was being used by pedestrians even as repair works happened in the morning.
Another eyewitness said most of the victims were walking on the overbridge on their way to the CST station 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 local MP 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."
The tragedy comes eight months after another bridge collapsed in suburban Andheri, in which five persons were killed.