Mahad Bridge Collapse: Death toll rises to 26, rescue operations continue on day 6

Mahad Bridge Collapse: Death toll rises to 26, rescue operations continue on day 6
Aerial view of the collapsed bridge. Picture: ANI

Six days after the collapse of a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad in Raigad district, the search operation to find the bodies and the remains of the vehicles continues in the Savitri river.

The death toll, which has been rising since the first day, has reached 26 so far. On Sunday, two more bodies were recovered during the search and rescue operation, launched a day after two State Transport buses and another 7-8 vehicles fell into the swollen river after the bridge collapsed on the night of August 2.

“We are not going to call off our operation and will continue to fish out the remains and bodies,” Raigad’s Residential Deputy Collector Satish Bagal said.

“Now there are chances that the bodies which have not been recovered so far, might have got stuck in the washed away vehicles. When the personnel succeed in tracing those vehicles, the bodies would also be recovered,” Bagal said.

When asked about the identification and handover of the deceased’s bodies, the deputy collector said that all the bodies recovered so far have been identified and handed over to relatives.

Despite all the efforts, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Navy and Coast Guard officials have only been able to locate a signboard of one of the missing ST buses bearing the word ‘reserved’ on it.

NDRF’s 5th battalion commandant Anupam Srivastava told PTI that they are using various advance techniques, including electronic sensors, fish finders (sonar devices), and massive magnets to trace the remains of the swept away vehicles. “We have fitted six eco-sound sensors at the bottom of the boats which send acoustic sound waves down side the water and while it returns, it generates a picture of the surface on our hand held monitor,” he said.

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