CHENNAI: A temporary bridge, over the river Cooum, that had been barricaded and was clearly off-limits for the general public collapsed on the Island grounds on Sunday morning when a few women disregarding the barricade and used the bridge. At least 30 women sustained minor injuries.
According to police sources, access to the bridge was blocked by asbestos sheets. However, the women who had come to take part in a marathon disregarded the barricade and used the bridge to take a shortcut to the Island grounds.
Around 3,000 women had congregated on the Island grounds to participate in the Third Edition of the Pinkathon India at 5.30 am on Sunday.
“Around ten to twelve people were using the bridge, when one of them, a resident of T Nagar, fell into the Cooum, when the bridge broke in the middle. She was immediately pulled out and rushed to a private hospital.” said Bhavani Sivam, one of the women slated to participate in the marathon race.
Police officials, who were deployed at the scene said, the temporary iron bridge with wooden planks surrounded by asbestos sheet was set up in December during the exhibition that was held on the Island grounds.
The bridge, over the Cooum, connects the Island grounds that housed the exhibition and the grounds that accommodate the current book fair.
“Three such bridges were set up in the same ground. However, after the exhibition, the court had issued an order in January end, restricting public use of the bridge after which access to the bridge was blocked with wooden barricades. The women taking a shortcut to the grounds used the bridge to reach the book fair when it collapsed unable to bear the pressure. Nobody was injured but two mobile phones and a car key were lost in the Cooum,” a police official added.
The marathon which had four categories based on the distance - 21 km, 10 km, 5 km and 3 km. The organisers were not available for comment.
However, police officers have been deployed near the other two bridges on the Cooum River to ensure that no such incident is repeated. No case has been registered so far.