Five persons were killed and 29 were injured after a section of a foot overbridge outside Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus collapsed during rush hour on Thursday evening, PTI reported. The injured have been taken to hospital, officials said.

Rescue operations are under way. According to Mumbai Mirror, many are feared trapped under the debris.

The deceased were identified as 35-year-old Apurva Prabhu, 40-year-old Ranjana Tambe, 35-year-old Sarika Kulkarni, 32-year-old Zahid Khan and 35-year-old Satendra Singh.

The foot overbridge connects the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with the Azad Maidan police station. It is also called “Kasab bridge” as Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who struck Mumbai in November 2008, had used it during the attacks. The bridge, which is three decades old, is also close to the office of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

The damaged section of the foot overbridge that caved in on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
The damaged section of the foot overbridge that caved in on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

An eyewitness told PTI that the situation would have been worse if a nearby traffic signal had turned green earlier. The signal was red, because of which several motorists were waiting and were saved when the overbridge collapsed.

Traffic on the arterial road leading to the foot overbridge has been hit after the incident. Senior police officers are on the spot, the Mumbai Police said on Twitter.

The incident took place around 7.30 pm when a major portion of the overbridge caved in, an official told PTI. Some motorists who were passing beneath the bridge were among those injured, the official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed sadness at the incident. “My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” Modi said. “Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he had ordered a high-level inquiry, ANI reported. “A structural audit of the bridge had earlier been done and it was found to be fit,” he said. “Even after that if such incident happened, it raises question on the audit. Inquiry will be done. Strictest action will be taken.”

He announced ex gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of those who died, and compensation of Rs 50,000 to the injured.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal “must resign or be sacked” after the incident.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai’s busiest railway station, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. An estimated 3.8 million passengers use it every working day.

In September 2017, a stampede on a foot overbridge between Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations in the city had killed at least 23 people. In July 2018, a section of a bridge connecting the eastern side of Mumbai’s Andheri suburb to its west collapsed, injuring five people.