People feared trapped after India bridge collapse

Casey GreeneSep 05, 2018

EMU local train services were suspended from 4.45 pm owing to the collapse of a portion of the bridge, the official said.

The National Disaster Response Force has deployed three teams to the spot where the Majerhat bridge collapsed in south Kolkata. But now our focus is on the rescue operation.

The collapse of a portion of the bridge over railway tracks occurred in the adjacent areas of Circular Railway line at Majherhat, leading to a signal post on the track being damaged by the debris, Mahapatra said.

One man died from head injuries in the collapse and another 21 people were taken to hospital, some in critical condition. Rescue operations were on at the time of going to Press. However, train services in the Sealdah-Budge Budge section, which also passes under the bridge, was not affected, he said. "Steps are being taken on an emergency footing to rescue those who are trapped", said Banerjee.

"Be it a bridge, a dam, hospital or a Government office, Didimoni has only paid lip service to performance by painting them blue and white!" he said referring to the dire need of upgrade of the city's infrastructure.

The bridge collapse hit traffic movement to and from vast areas in south-west Kolkata and adjacent South 24 Parganas district. "The matter requires investigation", said the Governor.

Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal state chief minister, said her priority was "relief and rescue", but questions are already being asked about the maintenance of the 40-year-old bridge.

"It is really unfortunate that the bridge has collapsed".

He further claimed that although rescue operations are underway, nobody is feared trapped under the bridge anymore.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee promised to initiate a high-level inquiry into the incident.

Some locals said the collapse might have been due to the construction of metro railway pillars nearby but this was not immediately confirmed by the experts.

It was the second major road collapse in Calcutta in recent years.

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