Six dead, 36 injured as 'Kasab bridge' in south Mumbai collapses during peak hour

The bridge connected the bustling Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station with the Azad Maidan Police Station.

Published: 14th March 2019 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2019 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

Rescue worker clear away debris of a collapsed foot overbridge in south Mumbai. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: At least six people including three women are dead and 36 others are injured when foot over bridge (FOB) outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station collapsed during the evening peak hour on Thursday.

Sources said the casualty is likely to go up as some of the injured are in serious condition.

Five of the dead have been identified as Apoorwa Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Zaheer Siraj Khan (32), Bhakti Shinde (40) and Tapendra Singh (35).

Prabhu and Tambe were staff members of the G T Hospital, an official said.

The Devendra Fadnavis government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the dead's kin.

The CM also said that a high-level committee will probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old over-bridge collapsed.

"The injured persons will get Rs 50,000 each and the government will bear the cost of their treatment," Fadnavis said, adding that officials found responsible for the incident will be booked.

The FOB was also known as the Kasab bridge after the infamous terrorist was photographed on this structure during the 26/11 attack on Mumbai.

“The slab of the FOB collapsed at around 7.30pm. Police reached the spot within five minutes and fire brigade vehicles reached within next 8-10 minutes and rescue operations started immediately. Injured persons have been shifted to Gokuldas Tejpal (GT), St George and LTMG hospital at Sion. I hope the number of casualties would be less as the injured were hospitalized quickly,” education minister Vinod Tawde who reached the spot after the incident told the media.

“Foot over bridge connecting CST platform 1 north end with B T Lane near Times of India building has collapsed. Injured persons are being shifted to hospitals. Traffic affected. Commuters to use alternate routes. Senior officers are on spot,” Mumbai police had tweeted at 7.46 pm.

The city traffic is now closed on both sides between CST junction and JJ flyover till further orders, said a police official.

Commuters are advised to use the Mahapalika Marg from CST to the metro junction and ahead towards Princess Street flyover-Crawford Market-Chakala and Mohammed Ali Road, he said.

Traffic coming from JJ flyover may take a right turn towards Crawford Market-metro junction-CST and or take a left turn at Nesbit junction and move further to P D Mellow Road- Avatar Singh Bedi chowk to CST-lion Gate, regal junction and further, the official further added.

Mumbai Bridge Collapse: 5 dead and 32 injured

The road along CSMT station over which the part of the FOB collapsed was closed down and traffic diverted after the incident and attempts to bring down the remaining steel structure of the bridge are underway.

The FOB is always crowded.

According to some commuters, it was making strange noises for past few days, while some other who were around while the mishap took place, said that a major portion of the pathway of the FOB caved in injuring several commuters.

There was a heavy noise and cries of people who had fallen from the bridge. Fortunately, no vehicles passing under the FOB were trapped.

The part of the bridge at Cama Hospital end collapsed and at least 34 people were admitted to the hospital after the incident.

Four fire brigade vehicles and two ambulances have reached the spot for rescue operations.

A 45-member team of the National Disaster Response Force has been rushed to the site for rescue operations.

Work on clearing the road of debris too is being carried out, fire brigade sources said.

The tragedy comes eight months after another bridge collapsed in suburban Andheri, in which five persons were killed.

Tawde said that according to preliminary information he received from the officials the bridge was not in a visibly dilapidated condition, though local corportor Sujata Sanap said that the FOB wasn’t audited during recent drive of the BMC while former MP Milind Deora demanded that a case of culpable homicide be registered against officials responsible for the mishap.

"I demand that structural auditors who carried out the inspection and structural audit of the bridge be booked under IPC section 302 (murder)," Deora said.

"Mumbaikars feel very much unsafe in the city, considering the frequent incidents of bridge collapses," the former MP said.

"I am not politicising the issue, but hollow promises are not going to serve the people anyway. This is the failure of the government and the system," he added.

Rescue work in progress after a foot overbridge near CSMT station collapsed in south Mumbai Thursday March 14 2019. | PTI

The railway shrugged away from the responsibility saying that it was a public bridge and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was responsible for its maintenance. 

Arvind Sawant, the local MP from the Shiv Sena, dubbed the incident as most unfortunate and said, "This ill-fated bridge was placed under the minor-repairing after the audit of all the bridges in the city. Action will be initiated against the responsible officials."

Local BJP MLA Raj Purohit also visited the spot and demanded immediate action against the engineer who had declared the bridge as "safe".

"Strictest action should be taken against the engineer who declared this bridge as safe and he should be arrested right now. He is responsible for the entire disaster," he said.

Social activist Anil Galgali demanded that all the bridges, inspected by the engineers who had declared the ill-fated bridge as safe, be re-inspected.

"This incident puts a question mark over the competence of engineers and structural auditors who inspected bridges in Mumbai. They should be prosecuted and blacklisted," Galgali said.

“In an unfortunate incident, a portion of a foot overbridge (FOB) over road outside CSMT station collapsed. It is a public FOB, and not a railway FOB. Railway traffic is not affected,” Central Railway PRO AK Jain said, in a statement.

The FOB was constructed and was being managed by the BMC.

However, it was not on the list of eight dilapidated bridges in the city, which the corporation had published a week back while stating that the bridges would be repaired soon.

The issue of dilapidated bridges in the city came to fore after the Gokhale Bridge at Andheri collapsed last year. Following the mishap, the civic body decided to undertake a structural audit of all the bridges in the city. As part of the survey, a structural audit of 344 bridges was undertaken.

The major repairs of 223 bridges in the city began after the audit, while 176 bridges are under minor repairs.

Out of these, 47 bridges are taken on priority. 

(With PTI inputs)

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