Mumbai bridge collapse: CST foot overbridge was audited after 2017 stampede
Seven months after similar tragedy at Andheri station, floor of a pedestrian walkway outside CSMT gives way and falls on passing vehicles on busy DN Road; CM orders audit report probe, vows those responsible will be punished
A BMC-appointed structural consultant who had inspected the Foot Over Bridge on DN Road connecting CSMT station's north end seems to have failed to gauge its condition: the bridge collapsed on Thursday evening during evening peak hours killing six people and injuring 31. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a probe into the consultant's submitted report. The bridge was part of the audit ordered after the Elphinstone Road stampede in 2017. Fadnavis has announced compensation of R5 lakh to the kin of the dead and R50,000 compensation to the injured.
Around two years back, the BMC's A ward office had started revamping the bridge in keeping with heritage look of the CSMT area. However, the iron rods that were visibly corroded as the locals pointed out crumbled and crushed passers-by last evening. The bridge was constructed in the 1980s and contractors were to be appointed for minor repairs to the bridge, said civic officials.
A police officer inspects the site of the collapse. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar/Ashish Raje
Office-goers from nearby buildings rushed to the spot after hearing the sound of the bridge collapse and helped with rescue efforts. Corporator Rais Shaikh said, "That structural audit has proposed only minor repairs and even these repairs were delayed. It is the complete callousness of our civic engineers that has resulted in this tragedy." Fadnavis said, "The bridge was a 1980s construction and was structurally audited as well in which minor repairs were suggested. A high-powered committee will probe the issue and the guilty will not be spared."
There were also concerns raised by the locals about whether the iron rods that formed the base were able to take the load of the newly laid tiles. A bystander, said, "We work in the building next to it and when we came here were saw people lying on the road needing immediate help. Two or three were pushed into the taxi and taken to a nearby hospital. The injured were taken to other hospitals in police vans. It was only after 7.40 pm that the fire brigade arrived." Among the injured, there is one two year old child who has injured her leg.
Sunil Udasi, Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer, said,"In an unfortunate incident, a portion of the public FOB (not railway FOB) has fallen outside CSMT railway premises across the road. Railway traffic has not been affected. Railway doctors, paramedical staff and ambulance are at the site to extend all possible help to civil authorities."
A relative of Zahid Siraj Khan, 32, who lost his life in the accident kept weeping in the hospital. "I don't know how it happened. I got to know about it when I saw about the incident on TV," said Raes Khan. Zahid was going back to Ghatkopar with his father Siraj after conducting a business meeting at CST. While walking on the bridge it collapsed and two slaps fell on Zahid. His father was able to recognise him only by the brown bag he was carrying. Passers-by took them to hospital in a car. Sukesh Banarjee, 37, who works at Nariman Point got injured when returning home to Badlapur. Someone used his phone to inform the family that he had suffered injuries.
"I was walking from the Fort area towards Kalbadevi, and was 200-300 metres away from the bridge when it collapsed. When I got closer, there was a lot of chaos at the spot. It is really sad that such an incident happened," said Arogyanathan, retired locopilot, who was in the area.
Inputs by Faizan Khan and Anurag Kamble
Portion of the bridge that caved in
Time when the bridge collapsed
Period when the bridge was built
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.
Mumbai CST station footover bridge collapse: Death toll rises