Six killed as footbridge collapses near Mumbai's CST

A foot overbridge connecting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station to Azad Maidan Police Station collapsed on Thursday evening. 
Highlights: 
The bridge is nearly 60 years old and was constructed by Mumbai's civic body
This is the same FOB from which Pakistani fidayeen Mohammed Ajmal Kasab came out of CSMT 
The incident will snowball into  a political issue in the wake of Lok Sabha elections

At least six people, including three women, were killed and 36 injured when a foot overbridge outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) collapsed on Thursday evening. 

The victims included those who were on the bridge or those walking below or in the vehicles on the road.

Teams of Central Railway (CR),  Mumbai Police and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) rushed to the spot for rescue, relief and debris-clearing operation. 

The road and the overbridge were crowded owing to peak hours in the evening when the slab of the bridge loosened from the beams and collapsed.

The deceased were identified as Ranjana Tambe (40), Apurva Prabhu (35), both working as nurses at GT Hospital, Bhakti Shinde, Tapendra Singh and Zahid Shiraj Khan (32).

The 60-year-old overbridge connects the CSMT to the opposite side. This is the same overbridge that Pakistani fidayeen Mohammed Ajmal Kasab used to come out of the Chhatrapati terminus during the 26/11 terror strike. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the spot and ordered a high-level probe into the incident. The government announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured. The government will bear their medical expenses.

According to Edwin Fernandes, an eyewitness, the bridge came down with a thud. "There was a loud noise, rattle and dust," said Fernandes, who was walking on the pavement. "There was helter-skelter and chaos," he said, adding that people were in terrible pain and some of them were unconscious.

Security and rescue authorities immediately took control of the situation.
"I was on the bridge when it started shaking... I screamed 'bhago, bhago...' and we rushed towards the station. By God's grace and well wishes of my family and friends, I am safe. Death was just two steps away from me," said Manish Jha, a journalist, who called up the Mumbai police control room and sent out WhatsApp messages to various people and groups. 

The bridge comes under the jurisdiction of the BMC.

"It was a shock... people were injured and lying on the road," said cricket analyst Amit Shah, who had just walked below the bridge and was moving towards Metro Cinema.

"I was walking along with two of my colleagues and was just approaching the bridge when it caved in," said senior TV journalist Jitendra Dixit.

According to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after the Elphinstone Road foot overbridge stampede and Andheri walkway collapse, the structural audit of all bridges was undertaken and this bridge was found to be okay.

Education Minister Vinod Tawde rushed to the spot and assured a probe. "The bridge was not declared dangerous. But some repairs have been suggested. All details are being looked into," said Tawde, who is the guardian minister of Mumbai.

The injured were shifted to the government-run St George Hospital and civic-run GT Hospital. The injured include policemen.

The road connects the Fort, Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point and Churchgate areas to the Crawford Market and is one of the busiest Mumbai routes.

 

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