The Railways restored connectivity on the Harbour Line in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon, hours after a section of a bridge connecting the eastern side of Mumbai’s Andheri suburb to its west collapsed, injuring five people.

Two of the injured are in the intensive care unit at Cooper Hospital. The others suffered fractures.

“As promised, harbour line traffic near Andheri, Mumbai, has been restored,” Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted. “Railways is working to reinstate all remaining railway sections too.”

Earlier in the day, the minister ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked for a report in 15 days. He said the injured will be given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and the Railways will bear their medical treatment expenses.

Goyal said the Railways and the BMC will carry out a joint safety audit of the 445 road bridges, foot overbridges and bridges over the pipelines in Mumbai.

“Today’s incident is very unfortunate and unexpected,” he told reporters after he visited the site of the accident in Andheri. “We are trying to restore operations on line by late night today. I would like to thank Mumbaikars for cooperating despite the inconvenience.”

He further said: “I would like to thank motorman Chandrashekhar Sawant who stopped the train as soon he saw an over head electric line snap and averted a bigger mishap. He will be awarded Rs 5 lakh.”

Union minister Piyush Goyal visited the site of the bridge collapse in Andheri. (Image credit: Satyabrata Tripathy/HT)
Union minister Piyush Goyal visited the site of the bridge collapse in Andheri. (Image credit: Satyabrata Tripathy/HT)

Mumbai Fire chief Prabhat Rahangdale said the department received a call at 7.55 am about the collapse of the Gokhale bridge. The fire brigade arrived within five minutes, he added.

The bridge collapse affected local train traffic on the western line as overhead wires were been damaged. “A bridge has collapsed which resulted the halt in all our up and down services of Western Railway,” Western Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar said according to PTI.

Bhakar said the audit of the bridge was done in November as part of the routine inpsection. “No structural flaw was found in the audit,” Bhakar said.
The bridge was one of the 2,000 bridges that were inspected last year, PTI quoted unidentified railway officials as saying.

Later on Tuesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi criticised the government and said that civic governance has collapsed. “The streets are flooded, citizens stranded, bridges collpasing,” he said on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the citizens of Mumbai. Stay safe!”

A few mail express trains were cancelled and rescheduled, and special arrangements were made at various stations for commuters seeking to get refund for their tickets.

The Gokhale flyover is closed for traffic. Instead, commuters travelling from Andheri East to West are advised to follow the Bisleri junction – Teli Galli – Surve Chowk – Andheri subway – SV Road route, the Mumbai Traffic Control Branch said.

Commuters travelling from Andheri West to Andheri East may take the following routes:

1) JVPD – Sujoy Hospital junction – Mithibai College – SV Road – Gore flyover – Parle East – Adhar Junction – Parle junction to Western Express Highway

2) JVPD – Sujoy Hospital junction –BMW junction – slip road of Rajiv Gandhi flyover – SV Road – Gore flyover – Adhar Junction – Parle junction to Western Express Highway

3) Commuters travelling from Western Express Highway to SV Road can also use the Mrunaltai Gore flyover to reach the Milan flyover or Khar subway.