Five dead, over 30 hurt as overbridge collapses near Mumbais CST

Sergio Conner
March 15, 2019

Five persons were killed and 29 were injured after a section of a foot overbridge outside Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus collapsed during rush hour on Thursday evening, PTI reported.

The state's education minister, Vinod Tawde, said an audit of the bridge's safety was carried out past year. A structural audit of the bridge had earlier been done and it was found to be fit.

Though the overbridge was under fix, it was still in use.

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the deaths and said the Maharashtra government is providing all possible assistance to all those affected. Two of the injured people are in critical condition.

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.

"In an unfortunate incident, a portion of a foot overbridge (FOB) over road outside CSMT station collapsed".

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"A slab of the bridge had collapsed".

Since it was peak traffic time, there were several people on the bridge as well as under it.

"This incident puts a question mark over the competence of engineers and structural auditors who inspected bridges in Mumbai. Four of those taken to hospitals have succumbed to their injuries", Tanaji Kamble, a spokesperson for the local civic authority's disaster management cell, told AFP.

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. Trafic affected. Commuters to use alternate routes.

Tawde meanwhile said an enquiry into the collapse would be conducted by the Railways and the BMC. "Why was it not closed until the work was completed, it will also be probed.The state will provide for the treatment of the injured.We will give further update to you as and when we get information", Tawde who visited the mishap spot told the media.

The death toll has climbed to 4 now, with at least 34 others reported to be injured. "This is the failure of the government and the system", he added. "Strictest action will be taken", he said. "During the audit, "minor repairing" was consulted for this bridge". Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had then announced a joint safety audit of all 445 bridges in Mumbai.

Visuals showed that the middle of the bridge fell onto the road below.

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