An under construction railway bridge collapsed on Wednesday in Mizoram, killing at least 17 people and injuring several others. Around 35 to 40 workers were present at the location when the incident happened and rescue operations are still underway.
The victims of the mishap included labourers, engineers, and other workers who were involved in the construction of the bridge. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Here’s all you need to know about the Mizoram bridge collapse:
The railway bridge in Mizoram’s Sairang, about 21 km from the state capital Aizawl, collapsed at around 10 am on Wednesday. According to the police, 17 bodies have been recovered so far, while “many others are still missing.” Rescue officials fear that the death toll may go up.
The bridge was being constructed over the Kurung River, connecting Bairabi to Sairang. It was part of the Railways’ project to connect all state capitals in the Northeast region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the incident and announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for those who died in the incident, and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.
Railway Minister Ashwini also announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of workers who died and an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for those who suffered minor injuries.
The collapsed gantry of the structure was designed by STUP Consultants and vetted by IIT Guwahati. Gantries are heavy steel structures used to support girders during construction. Railways claimed other parts of the bridge, such as piers, are still intact.
A high-level inquiry committee has been constituted to investigate the incident. The reason for the collapse has not been ascertained so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, and several others expressed grief over the incident.
The prime minister condoled the deaths and said, “All possible assistance is being given to those affected.” President Murumu expressed “deepest condolences to the bereaved families”. Zoramthanga also said he was “deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy.”