Mumbai bridge collapse kills four

Experts pointed the finger of blame at the railway network's creaking infrastructure

Afp March 14, 2019
Experts pointed the finger of blame at the railway network's creaking infrastructure. PHOTO COURTESY: THEINDIANEXPRESS

MUMBAI: Four people were killed and dozens injured when a footbridge collapsed near Mumbai's main train station on Thursday, the latest accident to highlight creaking infrastructure in India's financial capital.

The bridge, which was under repair according to multiple Indian media reports, gave way around 7.30 pm (1400 GMT) as rush hour commuters made their way into Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

"Twenty-eight people were injured when the bridge collapsed. Four of those taken to hospitals have succumbed to their injuries," Tanaji Kamble, a spokesperson for the local civic authority's disaster management cell, told AFP.

India's National Disaster Response Force said it had sent a team to the site over fears that people may be trapped under rubble.

The accident comes almost two years after 23 people died in a crush on a narrow overcrowded footbridge at Prabhadevi station in the centre of the city in September 2017.

Indian railway officials blamed bad weather for causing the deadly stampede despite commuter warnings before the tragedy of a disaster waiting to happen.

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Experts pointed the finger of blame at the railway network's creaking infrastructure, which has long struggled to cope with several million daily passengers.

Some 7.5 million passengers commute in nearly 2,500 trains daily on Mumbai's colonial-era rail network, a lifeline for the city's 20 million residents.

Travelling on it is not without its dangers, however.

An average of almost 10 people die on the suburban railway every day, either from falling off crowded trains or while crossing the tracks.

Commuters say investment in the railway's crumbling infrastructure has not kept up with the city's burgeoning population.


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