Mumbai: At least five people, including 3 women, were killed and 36 were injured when a portion of a busy Footover Bridge near iconic CST railway station here collapsed on Thursday during the peak rush hour, once again raising questions over the safety of such pedestrian structures.
A big slab of the FOB came crashing at around 7.20 pm due to which several pedestrians were injured.
Mumbai Police, Fire Brigade and other rescue agencies reached the spot and immediately evacuated those buried under the rubble and shifted them to hospitals.
Five of the injured later succumbed to their injuries. The deceased included Apoorva Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Sarika kulkarni (35) and Tapendra Singh (35). Of the three deceased women, two were the staff of GT Hospital.
“A slab of the bridge has fallen which led to the death and injuries of pedestrians. Railway and BMC will conduct a joint enquiry of the incident. There were minor damages in the bridge and the maintenance was going on, why the bridge was not closed during this period will be part of the enquiry,” said Maharashtra Minister Vinod Tawde.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguished over the tragedy.
“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,” he tweeted.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis also took to Twitter and expressed sadness over the incident, he said, “Pained to hear about the FOB incident near TOI building in Mumbai. Spoke to BMC Commissioner and Mumbai Police officials and instructed to ensure speedy relief efforts in coordination with @RailMinIndia officials.”
The Railway Ministry said the bridge belonged to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but the Ministry is extending all support to the victims.
“Railway doctors and personnel are cooperating with BMC in relief and rescue operations,” informed Railways.
After the collapse, a blame game started, with the Congress demanding fixing of accountability for the tragedy.
“This is a very unfortunate incident. Every time when such incidents occur, discussions are held but again the same thing is repeated. There is utmost corruption in local bodies. Investigations must be done and concerned people must be held accountable,” said Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi.
“Government should act against the structural auditors who had given this bridge a safety certificate. FIR must be lodged under Section 302 of IPC,” said Congress leader Milind Deora.
BJP leader and MLA Raj Purohit said, “This incident should not have happened and people shouldn’t have lost lives. They must be arrested and punished. After the railway bridge collapse, the audit was ordered of all such bridges. The action should be taken against the engineer whosoever had done the audit of this bridge and given the safety certificate.”
This bridge, a portion of which has collapsed today is also called as Kasab Bridge because Kasab has used this bridge to exit from the CSMT station after 26/11 attack. He was pictured near this same bridge while running towards Cama hospital lane where he killed senior ATS officials.