Mumbai Rains: Gokhale bridged collapses sending Andheri station into a tizzy
50-metre walkway portion of Gokhale over bridge collapses at 7.30 am, injuring five people, sending the busy Andheri station into a tizzy and disrupting rail services
The usual din that surrounds the Andheri station on mornings was interrupted by a loud thud on Tuesday, when the walkway portion of the Gokhale over bridge, which connects Andheri East and West, collapsed. The incident injured five people and disrupted train services to and from Andheri till the afternoon.
While the portion of the walkway collapsed around 7.30 am, further casualties were avoided by the presence of mind displayed by a motorman whose train was about to pass under the bridge.
Soon after, the fire brigade, local police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP) and officials from the Western Railway (WR) reached the spot to start the rescue operations. The bridge was instantly shut down as a precautionary measure.
Chaos ensued after the collapse, with the heavy rainfall only adding to rescuers woes. When mid-day reached the spot, it observed police officials having a tough time managing the crowd who wanted to go near the site of the collapse to click pictures. The Divisional Railway Manager of WR also reached the spot along with the other officials and instructed officials to complete the work of clearing the debris on war footing.
The incident majorly damaged platform 8 at Andheri, which mostly receives intercity trains. The collapsed portion had completely covered the tracks, making it seem as if they had been barricaded.
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Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, "This is an unfortunate incident and I have ordered the commissioner of railway safety to immediately carry out an inquiry and give us the report within 15 days. Professor Devang Kakkar from IIT-B has been asked to conduct the safety audit of all the railway bridges in Mumbai. R35,000 crore has been sanctioned for improving the suburban rail network."
Trying to find a way back home
Mira Prahlad Bhalerao,
'I stay right across the tracks. I was at home when I heard the commotion. There was nobody here when it happened. Us locals rushed to the rescue'
'We were going to work and got stuck at Bandra station. We then took a rickshaw that refused to ferry us ahead of Andheri. We're now trying to find a way back home in Jogeshwari'
'I cannot afford to jump down and walk at this age. I am waiting for the trains to resume. I was travelling to Dadar. With no umbrella or anything to eat, I think I'm going to be stuck here till the trains move'
Ruia college student
'I was on my way to college as we had our practical exams. The train didn't move an inch for 15 minutes from Jogeshwari. Later, we heard about a slab of the bridge falling off. There was complete chaos in the compartment'
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