“Mumbai Bridge Collapsed Despite Audit”: Devendra Fadnavis Orders Probe

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    Mumbai: 

    Hours after a foot overbridge in the vicinity of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CST) collapsed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today clarified that the authorities had already conducted a structural audit of the structure and found nothing wrong with it.

    Mr Fadnavis termed the collapse as “unfortunate”, and said that he has ordered a high-level inquiry into it. “A structural audit of the bridge had earlier been done, and it was found to be fit. If such an incident happened even after that, it raises a question on the audit. An inquiry will be carried out. Strictest action will be taken,” he added.

    Until reports last came in, the collapse had killed five people and injured over 36. At least three of the dead were women, Mumbai police spokesman Manjunath Singe said, adding that the injured have been rushed to a hospital.

    The foot overbridge is used by thousands of commuters to cross into the railway terminus every day. It is also referred to as “Kasab Bridge”, given that terrorist Ajmal Kasab was photographed on it on the day of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. 

    Mr Fadnavis has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the incident, besides monetary aid of Rs 50,000 for each of the injured, news agency ANI reported. The state government has also offered to pay for their treatment, it added. 

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier conveyed his “deep anguish” over the incident on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected,” he posted.

    The safety audit was conducted on the foot overbridge, built in 1984, after a similar 40-year-old structure crumbled due to heavy rain in Andheri last year. In 2017, as many as 23 people were killed in a stampede after the Elphinstone Bridge at Prabhadevi station in central Mumbai collapsed.

    (With inputs from Reuters)

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