MUMBAI: An inquiry by the Commissioner of Rail Safety has been ordered in connection with the collapse of a road overbridge (ROB) in Mumbai's suburban Andheri area on Tuesday. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal who visited the accident site on Tuesday said that the probe report will have to be submitted within 15 days.
Expressing regret over the accident, he said it was "very unfortunate" and "most unexpected". The minister said the last safety audit of the ROB had been conducted on November 12 last year and nothing wrong had been found in that.
Goyal said that during the next six months, a joint safety audit will be conducted by the railways, the BMC and IIT at the 445 road overbridges, foot overbridges and bridges over the pipelines in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety for the commuters.
He also said around 700 employees of the Railways, helped by some experts from Delhi and Lucknow, were working on the restoration work and the train services will be resumed completely by Tuesday night.
An ROB in Andheri area collapsed on Tuesday morning due to heavy rains, bringing to a halt the local train services and affecting some long distance trains that caused huge inconvenience to the commuters. Five people were injured, two of them seriously, in the incident that took place at around 7.30 am, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The Gokhale road overbridge, built in 1971, collapsed near the eastern side of the railway station, a BMC disaster management cell official said after the incident for which the government came under attack.
"Incessant rains apparently caused cracks in the ROB, resulting in its collapse. Thankfully, no train was passing on the track under the bridge at that time," said a civic official.
Due to the collapse, local train services of the Western Railway were stopped, causing huge inconvenience to the daily commuters, for whom local train services are the lifeline.
Some long distance express trains were cancelled and rescheduled because of the ROB collapse.