NDRF, Air Force search for 20 missing people after bridge collapse on Mumbai-Goa highway
Two people reportedly died, while 20 others have not been found.
More than 80% of a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed late Tuesday night, leaving at least two people dead and 20 people missing and causing major traffic problems on the stretch. Local deputy superintendent Pranjali Sonawane confirmed the developments. The bridge collapse took place five kilometres from Mahad area in Raigad district. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the number of casualties was difficult to assess, given that it was very dark when the incident took place.Four National Disaster Response Force teams, comprising 115 personnel, divers and 12 boats, were immediately rushed to the site, Singh said in Parliament. The Air Force was also called in, and one of its choppers has been scanning the area. At least eight Navy divers also joined rescue operations. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being kept informed of the situation.
At least a dozen vehicles were believed to have fallen into the river Savitri below the bridge, among them were two state transport buses carrying the 22 missing people. According to The Times of India, initial reports claimed the British-era bridge collapsed because of heavy rain and the river getting flooded. There is a second bridge on the stretch, built more recently, to which traffic has been diverted.