34 killed in Darjeeling bridge collapse

Expressing shock at the tragedy, Mamata Banerjee said the government would bear the cost of the treatment of the injured.

Darjeeling: With eight more people on Sunday
succumbing to injuries, the toll in the wooden footbridge
collapse in West Bengal`s Darjeeling district rose to 32.

The old wooden footbridge over Little Ranget spring at
Bijanbari gave way under pressure of a crowd during a Gorkha
Janmukti Morcha (GJM) meeting nearby at Bijanbari yesterday.

Chief Medical Officer of Darjeeling Subir Bhowmik said
the 10 persons succumbed to their injuries at the North Bengal
Medical College Hospital at Siliguri and at Darjeeling Sadar

The old wooden footbridge at Bijanbari in Darjeeling
district, which was weakened after the September 18 eartquake,
gave way under crowd pressure during a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
(GJM) meeting nearby at Bijanbari yesterday.

Army personnel of the Mountain Brigade and the Army
Medical Corps have joined the fire brigade, police and
disaster management personnel in the rescue operation and
mobilised some ambulances at their disposal.

Some of the injured have also been admitted to Army
hospitals, district administration sources said.

West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan today visited the
Darjeeling Sadar Hospital and promised all help to the kin of
the victims and those injured.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the North
Bengal Medical College and Hospital, instructed the hospital
authorities to provide best treatment possible the expenses of
would be borne by the state government.

Mamata also announced the state government`s decision to
pay Rs two lakh to the families of the deceased, Rs 50,000
each to the seriously injured persons and Rs 25,000 each to
the persons who suffered minor injuries.

The state government would also bear expenses for
treatment of those patients who were admitted to private
hospitals and nursing homes in Siliguri, Mamata said.

She was accompanied by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi
and Union Minister for Health Sudip Bandopadhyay.

The chief minister will also go to Darjeeling to visit
the Sadar Hospital there where many injured persons were
admitted and from there she would proceed to the site of the
bridge collapse.

Darjeeling MP and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh today
announced a grant of Rs 50 lakh from his MPLAD fund for
construction of a new bridge in place of the old one, his
secretary said.


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