Road overbridge collapses in Mumbai; 5 hurt, services hit

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jul 2018 08:33:38



Incessant rains cause cracks in Gokhale road overbridge, built in 1971, resulting in its collapse

A ROAD overbridge (ROB) in Mumbai’s suburban Andheri area collapsed on Tuesday morning due to heavy rains, bringing to a halt the local train services and affecting some long distance trains that caused huge inconvenience to the commuters, officials said.

Five people were injured, two of them seriously, in the incident that took place at around 7.30 am, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The Gokhale road overbridge, built in 1971, collapsed near the eastern side of the railway station, a BMC disaster management cell official said after the incident for which the Government came under attack. “Incessant rains apparently caused cracks in the ROB, resulting in its collapse. Thankfully, no train was passing on the track under the bridge at that time,” said a civic official.

Due to the collapse, local train services of the Western Railway were stopped, causing inconvenience to the daily commuters. Some long distance express trains were cancelled and rescheduled because of the ROB collapse.
Mumbai’s famous tiffin carriers ‘Dabbawalas’ also expressed their inability to operate as the train services on the Western Line were stopped. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal visited the accident site in the afternoon and said that he had ordered an inquiry by the Commissioner of Rail Safety whose report would have to be submitted within 15 days.
Expressing regret over the accident, he said it was “very unfortunate” and “most unexpected”.

He said around 700 employees of the railways, helped by some experts from Delhi and Lucknow, were working on the restoration work and the train services were be resumed completely by night. The ROB was last inspected in November, 2017, an official said. “The audit was done in November, 2017 as a part of the routine inspection. No structural flaw was found in the audit,” Ravinder Bhakar, Spokesperson, Western Railway, said.

The structure was one of the 2,000 bridges and 550 ROBs that were thoroughly inspected last year, Railway officials said. All the bridges are inspected at least twice a year -- before the monsoon and after the monsoon -- they said, adding that some of the structures are inspected more frequently, depending on their condition.