At least one person got killed while over 25 others got injured as part of a 40-year-old bridge collapsed in Majerhat area of Kolkata in West Bengal on Tuesday afternoon. The rescue operation continued till last reports came in with fears of more people and vehicles being trapped under the debris of the collapsed bridge. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital.
The incident occurred at around 4.45 pm, following which fire tenders, ambulances and teams of NDRF and local police rushed to the spot. West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim also reached the spot soon after the information came in. He said that the priority was to conduct rescue operation to take those trapped out of the debris. Pointing that the bridge is 40-year-old, he added that a technical team would later look into the cause of the collapse.
West Bengal Chief Minister, who is in Darjeeling, said that though she wanted to head back to Kolkata immediately, but could not do so as flights were not operational after evening. She said that the government’s focus was on relief and rescue operation.
“We are very worried. We are receiving information from the rescue team on ground. We want to go back as soon as possible. There are no flights in the evening, we are unable to do so,” said Mamata Banerjee.
“Our team is focused on relief and rescue work. Our priority is relief and rescue. Rest of the investigation will be done later,” she further said.
The bridge, which passes over the Majerhat railway station, is an important bridge in Kolkata connecting Behala to areas which lie on the other side of the Sealdah railway line.
Teams of NDRF and local police are conducting the rescue operation at the collapse site. The Indian Army clarified that its personnel have not been called in yet but since the area is very close, Army field hospital detachment has been sent.
The opposition, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), attacked the Mamata Banerjee government for not paying attention to bridges and flyovers which were in depleted condition. BJP leaders Babul Supriyo and Roopa Ganguly blamed the Trinamool Congress government for alleged laxity in management of flyovers and bridges in Kolkata.