CSMT foot-over-bridge collapse: All developments until now
Public outrage, call for action against perpetrators, a political slugfest and a police case were the immediate reactions following the collapse of the foot-over-bridge outside CSMT railway station on Thursday night.
All Major Developments Since The Collapse
Death toll rises to 6
Six persons were killed and 31 left injured after a section of the FOB connecting CSMT to the area near Times of India building collapsed during rush hour yesterday.
The deceased were identified as Apoorva Prabhu (35), Anjana Tambe (40), Bhakti Shinde (40), Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Tapendra Singh (28) and Mohan.
Among the deceased, Prabhu, Tambe and Shinde were nurses working in GT Hospital, located about half a kilometre away from the FOB.
BMC to dismantle bridge
A BMC spokesperson confirmed that civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta will meet Road and Bride department officials on Friday to take a call on dismantling the entire FOB.
BMC had kept the busy DN Road blocked as part of the post-collapse safety stipulations last night, while civic staff went about dismantling the entire deck of the FOB.
“DN Road (on which the FOB stood) has been blocked as a precautionary measure. BMC commissioner Mehta has called a meeting on this to decide on its re-opening,” a civic official was quoted as saying.
FOB was ‘structurally safe’
According to a civic official, the FOB was found structurally safe when it was audited in August 2016.
“During that audit, 354 bridges were checked for their structural soundness. The FOB that collapsed on Thursday was marked C2B. This means it needed minor repairs only. Tenders were floated for the repair but it got held up,” the official said.
“We will investigate whether the tender was held up by the BMC Standing Committee or the Road and Bridge department,” he added.
Maharashtra: Morning visuals from the spot where part of a foot over bridge near CSMT railway station collapsed in Mumbai yesterday. 6 people had died in the incident. pic.twitter.com/4qQ909Zznc
— ANI (@ANI) March 15, 2019
Activists, public seek action against officials
Both the general public and activists have sought strict action against errant officials and those who had audited the overbridge and found it “safe”.
Subhash Gupta, president of Rail Yatri Parishad said, “The day of blame game should be over now. Action should be taken against the auditors who certified this FOB structurally safe.”
He also said that Central Railway, which has said the FOB belongs to the civic body, cannot wash its hands off the episode as the bridge was used by railway passengers.
Criminal lawyer Tanveer Nizam too called it a case of negligence and said the concerned officials should be held responsible for the deaths in the incident.
Case filed against CR, BMC
Meanwhile, a case has been registered against officials of Central Railway and the BMC in connection with the incident.
“We have registered an offence under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC at the Azad Maidan police station,” Manjunath Singe, Mumbai police spokesperson, had said hours after the incident.
Suhas Pandey, the relative of a person injured in the incident, also sought action against BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta for the incident.
Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner (Law & Order), confirmed that a high-level probe will be launched into the incident.
CM announces compensation
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and said a high-level committee will probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old overbridge collapsed.
“The injured persons will get Rs 50,000 each and the government will bear the cost of their treatment,” Fadnavis said, adding that officials found responsible for the incident will be booked.
Detailed enquiry will follow but I have asked the BMC Commissioner for preliminary enquiry and fix the responsibility by today evening itself : CM @Dev_Fadnavis on visiting St. George Hospital, Mumbai pic.twitter.com/kMaYRZTjnu
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 15, 2019
Politicians take potshots
Soon after the incident, lawmakers and local party leaders rushed to the spot as political blame-game ensued.
Arvind Sawant, the local Shiv Sena MP, said, “This bridge was under minor-repairing after the audit of all bridges in the city. Action will be initiated against the responsible officials.”
Local BJP MLA Raj Purohit also visited the spot and demanded immediate action against the engineer who had declared the bridge as ‘safe’. “He should be arrested right now. He is responsible for the entire disaster.”
Local Shiv Sena corporator Sujata Sanap said she had alerted officials about the structure, but they did not act in time. “I have been pursuing the issue of this unsafe bridge for long and also wrote so many letters to officials but they were ignored.”
The collapse will be jointly probed by BMC and Central Railways, said Vinod Tawde, District Guardian Minister of Mumbai.
Congress leader Milind Deora said murder charge should be slapped on auditors who inspected the bridge and the BMC officers who appointed them.
CCTV footage captures fall, panic
Footage from the CCTV camera installed at one end of the FOB captured the exact moment when the slab collapsed.
The video shows shocked reactions of commuters after they hear the commotion, turn back to see what transpired and eventually come to terms with the narrow escape.