Six persons, including three women, were killed and 31 injured after major portion of a foot overbridge near a busy train station in south Mumbai collapsed Thursday evening, officials said.
The bridge, which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station station, was commonly called ‘Kasab bridge’ as the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the strike.
All the injured were admitted to nearby hospitals, a disaster management cell official said.
The deceased were identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Anjana Tambe (40), Bhakti Shinde (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Tapendra Singh (28) and Mohan, said the disaster management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Prabhu and Tambe were employees of the G T Hospital, the officials said.
The tragedy comes eight months after another bridge collapsed in suburban Andheri, in which five persons were killed.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and said a high-level committee will probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old over-bridge collapsed.
“The injured persons will get Rs 50,000 each and the government will bear the cost of their treatment,” Fadnavis said, adding that officials found responsible for the incident will be booked.
“I have ordered a high-level inquiry into this unfortunate incident which puts a question mark over the authenticity of the structural audit of bridges carried out across the city,” he added.
Soon after the disaster, elected representatives and local party leaders rushed to the spot amid raging political blame-game.
The bridge collapse will be jointly probe by the BMC and Central Railways officials, said Vinod Tawde, District Guardian Minister of Mumbai.
“I have discussed the issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as with CR General Manager D K Sharma, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and joint police commissioner (L&W) Deven Bharti. The railways and the BMC will jointly inquire the accident,” Tawde told reporters.
“The audit report of the BMC had found a need of minor repairs to the bridge,” he said.
Social activist Anil Galgali demanded that all the bridges, inspected by the engineers who had declared the ill-fated bridge as safe, be re-inspected.
“This incident puts a question mark over the competence of engineers and structural auditors who inspected bridges in Mumbai. They should be prosecuted and blacklisted,” Galgali said.
On July 3 last year, portion of a road over-bridge had collapsed in suburban Andheri. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had then announced a joint safety audit of all 445 bridges in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety.
Following the order, the railways, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the IIT-Bombay had conducted the safety audit.