At least five people including two women are dead and 29 others are injured when foot over bridge (FOB) outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station collapsed during the evening peak hour on Thursday.
Three dead have been identified as Apoorwa Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40) and Zaheer Siraj Khan (32), sources said adding that the number of causalities might escalate.
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 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.
Work on clearing the road of debris too is being carried out, fire brigade sources said.
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.
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.
“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.