Pedestrian bridge collapse at Mumbai train station injures 5

2018-07-04 05:25
Rescuers work at the site of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed at a train station in Mumbai, India. (Rafiq Maqbool, AP)

Rescuers work at the site of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed at a train station in Mumbai, India. (Rafiq Maqbool, AP)

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At least five people were injured on Tuesday when part of a pedestrian bridge at a Mumbai train station collapsed during morning rush hour amid heavy rains, officials said, as authorities struggled to restore the busy station.

Hours after the incident, a platform at another rail station in Mumbai, India's financial capital, caught fire due to a short circuit, police said. No casualties were immediately reported.

In the first mishap, a concrete slab fell onto empty train tracks at the Andheri station, damaging part of the platform roof and high-tension electric wires. Rescuers cut through the concrete and iron of the fallen slab, while engineers worked to restore power and train services.

Continuing rains hampered rescue and relief operations. The overpass connects the eastern and western portions of the railways station, and the collapse stranded passengers during the morning rush.

Repair and restore

Railroad spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said no trains were passing in the area at the time of the collapse. He said the incessant rains seemed to have caused cracks in the bridge, resulting in the collapse. Aaj Tak television news channel said the bridge was more than 50 years old.

Police official Yaibhav Nigade said at least five people who were walking on the bridge were injured and hospitalised. He said all the people trapped in the debris had been rescued, but that rescue teams using sniffer dogs were still searching the debris.

Nigade did not say how many people had been trapped.

India Today TV quoted an eyewitness saying he heard someone calling out to be saved. Another witness said some people were trapped under the concrete debris.

India's railway minister, Piyush Goyal, ordered an investigation. In a tweet, Goyal "directed officials to speed up repair work and rapidly restore traffic in close coordination with other departments".

Many streets and roads were waterlogged in Mumbai as monsoon rains continued lashing the city. Weather officials forecast heavy rains in the coming days.

In the second incident, a short circuit caused a fire at a platform of another rail station, where maintenance work was ongoing. Indian broadcasters showed images of some people running for cover as the fire engulfed the platform.

Every day, millions of commuters use the sprawling train network in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Last year, at least 22 people died and 32 others suffered injuries in a stampede triggered by a rumor that a pedestrian overpass had collapsed after concrete chunks fell at another railway station.

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