In a horrendous incident, a part of a foot overbridge collapsed on Thursday near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station in Mumbai, Maharashtra, killing at least six people and injuring 36 others. Two of the injured people are in critical condition. The injured are being treated at the St. Geroge hospital and G T hospital. The deceased have been identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Sarika Kulkarni (35) and Tapendra Singh (35).
The Mumbai Police has filed an FIR at the Azad Maidan Police Station against the concerned officials of the Central Railway and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The bridge is currently being demolished and will continue till Friday. The traffic on the route, that was diverted after the incident, is expected to remain diverted on Friday as well.
The NDRF team which was pressed for rescue operation was withdrawn from the accident spot at 10.34 pm after the completion of the operation.
GT hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Mukund Tayade said, "We have received two bodies, both of them were nurses at this hospital. The body of one more nurse is at St George Hospital. 14 injured have been admitted here, 1 of them has been shifted to JJ Hospital for neurosurgery."
The injured has been identified as--Sonali Navale (30), Adhvit Navale (3), Rajendra Navale (33), Rajesh Lokhande (39), Tukaram Yedge (31), Jayesh Avlani (46), Mohan Kaygade (40), Mahesh Shere (9), Ajay Pandit (31), Harshada Vaghale (35), Vijay Bhagvat (42), Nilesh Patavkar (13), Parshuram Pawar (14), Mumblik Jaiswal, Mohan Mojhada (43), Anolkhi (32), Ayushi Ranka (30), Siraj Khan (55), Ram Kupreja (59), Rajedas Das (23), Sunil Girlotkar (39), Aniket Anil Jadhav (19), Abhijit Mana (21), Rajkumar Chawala (49), Subhesh Banrji (37), Ravi Lageshetty (40), Nanda Vitthal Kadam (56), Rakesh Mishra (40), Attar Khan (45), Sujay Mazi (28), Kanubhai Solankhi (47) and Deepak Parek (32).
The incident took place around 7.30 pm when a major portion of the bridge caved in. The people who were trapped under the debris have been rescued. Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant visited the injured people at the St. George Hospital.
The bridge was officially known as "Himalaya" foot overbridge. It was constructed in 1980 and is almost 39 years old. After the Elphinstone bridge collapse incident an audit of the bridge was done in which it was found to be fit and only minor repairs were done.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced compensation for those who were killed in the incident. The Maharashtra chief minister regretted the incident calling it unfortunate. He announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of those who were killed in the incident and a compensation of Rs 50,000 each will be given to the injured. The state government will provide for the treatment of injured people.
"Ex-gratia of Rs 5 Lakh each will be given to the families of those who died in the incident and compensation of Rs 50,000 each will be given to the injured, state govt will provide for their treatment," said CM Fadnavis. "It's unfortunate. I've ordered a high-level inquiry. A structural audit of the bridge had earlier been done &it was found to be fit. Even after that if such an incident happened, it raises a question on the audit. The inquiry will be done. Strictest action will be taken," added the chief minister.
CM @Dev_Fadnavis ordered high level enquiry into #MumbaiBridgeCollapse incident and announced ₹5 lakh for the next of the kins of deceased and ₹50,000 to the injured and their medical expenses will be borne by GoM. pic.twitter.com/k6mR5PCGzb
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 14, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the loss of lives in the incident. Taking to Twitter, the PM tweeted, "Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected."
Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2019
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also expressed his sincere condolences to the family of the victims of the bridge collapse. "Railway Minister @PiyushGoyal expresses his sincere condolences to the family of the victims in Mumbai Bridge Collapse. Railway doctors and personnel are cooperating with BMC in relief and rescue operations," tweeted his office.
Reacting to the incident Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the collapse is deeply saddening. "My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones in this accident. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured," said Singh.
After meeting the injured at GT Hospital, BJP leader Girish Mahajan said, "There is a sufficient number of doctors and experts here. There is sufficient blood available in the blood bank. Accountability will come next, our priority is to cater to the injured first."
Congress leader Milind Deora said, "If the govt wants to send a message to the common Mumbaikars that this won't happen again then they should immediately lodge an FIR under IPC Section 302 which amounts to murder, against the concerned officers & auditors."
Maharashtra MoS Home Dr Ranjit Patil said, "Footover bridge near ToI Mumbai collapsing is a tragic incident. CM has immediately called for a meeting with BMC commissioner and Railway Ministry. Taking the injured to safety is of utmost importance and it is being done at a war-level."
The Central railway in a statement said, "In an unfortunate incident a portion of public FOB (not railway FOB) has fallen outside CST railway premises across the road. Railway traffic is not affected. Railway doctors, paramedical staff, ambulance are at the site to extend all the possible help to local authorities."
The Ministry of Railways said that the bridge was of BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). They, however, added that they are extending support to the victims. "The bridge was of BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). However, we're extending all our support to the victims. Railway doctors and personnel are cooperating with BMC in relief and rescue operations," said Ministry of Railways.
The traffic in the area was affected and commuters were asked to use alternate routes. The traffic has been closed on both bounds between CST junction and JJ Flyover till further orders. The commuters have been advised to use the Mahapalika Marg from CST to Metro Junction and ahead towards Princess Street Flyover/ Crawford Market/ Chakala and Mohammed Ali Road.
Commuters coming from JJ Flyover may take a right turn towards Crawford Market/ Metro Junction/ CST and ahead or take a left turn at Nesbit junction and move further to PD mellow road/Avatar Singh Bedi chowk to CST/ lion Gate, Regal junction and further.
The bridge connected the bustling Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station with the Azad Maidan Police Station.
The bridge which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic CSMT station was commonly known as 'Kasab bridge' after the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the terror attacks.
This is not the first incident in the financial hub of the country. Earlier in 2018, a part of a Road Over Bridge (ROB) had collapsed on the tracks near Andheri Station injuring at least six people.
In another incident, a foot overbridge (FOB), connecting the Parel-Elphinstone Road stations, collapsed at the suburban Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai in September 2017, killing 23 people and injuring over 30 people.