Indian Bridge Collapses: Twenty People Missing

image

Two people have died and at least 20 others are
missing after a bridge collapsed into a flooded
river in western India.

Two state-run buses plunged into the fast-flowing
water when the bridge was washed away near
Mahabaleshwar, south of Mumbai, around midnight
on Tuesday.
Large chunks of the single-lane bridge, built in the
British colonial era, fell into the Savitri River, which
was swollen by days of torrential monsoon rains.
Emergency workers have pulled two bodies from
the river, but they were still searching for the
others feared swept downstream following the
accident.
More than 100 rescuers, including divers, rushed
to the area, but their efforts were being hampered
by heavy rains, said the head of the National
Disaster Response Force, OP Singh.
“The flow of currents is very strong, making it
difficult to launch a full-scale search operation,”
he said.

The air force, navy and coastguard have also
deployed helicopters to search the river.

image

The collapsed bridge over the rain-swollen Savitri
River

Maharashtra state chief minister Devendra
Fadnavis said the bridge appeared to have
collapsed after being pounded by the flooded river.
“The primary reason seems to be the high
pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri due
to heavy rains in catchment of Mahabaleshwar,” he
said on Twitter.
The bridge, constructed in the 1940s, was the
older of two parallel bridges which are on a
highway connecting India’s financial capital with
the tourism state of Goa.
The collapse is the latest in a string of deadly
accidents in India where safety rules and
regulations may not be enforced and poor building
material is used.
Twenty-six people were killed in the eastern city of
Kolkata in April after an under-construction flyover
collapsed.
Scores of people also die each year in India and
the neighbouring countries of Nepal and
Bangladesh a result of flooding and landslides
during the monsoon season.

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