Mahad Bridge Collapse: Wreckage of drowned buses discovered, cranes deployed for recovery
Nine days after the collapse of a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad in Raigad district, rescue personnel managed to locate the wreckage of the missing buses that had drowned following the collapse.
Rescue personnel have found two wreckages and are currently trying to ascertain if they belong to one bus or two separate buses. The two wreckages were found approximately 170 and 200 meters from the collapsed bridge. NDRF teams have deployed cranes to recover the wreckage.
“After a long search and working 12-14 hours a day for the last 8 days, the Naval teams have located two bus wreckage submerged in water at Mahad,” said Defence spokesperson, Rahul Sinha, in a statement.
“The two wreckage seem to be parts of buses and were found approximately 170 and 200 metres from the collapsed bridge. Spot diving was carried out despite the presence of crocodiles, high current and tough conditions in the river,” the statement reads.
Two state transport buses and 7-8 vehicles fell into the swollen river after the bridge collapsed on the night of August 2.
The death toll, which has been rising since the first day, has reached 26 so far. Another 14 have been reported missing. Despite searching for 10-12 hours each day, no bodies have been recovered in the last four days.
The rescue operation is being conducted by NDRF teams and Indian Navy, comprising of personnel specialising in diving. The presence of crocodiles and high current in Savitri river, however, has made the task even more daunting.
The state government has also announced that if the missing individuals are not found within the next two months, they will be declared dead and award compensation to their next of kin.