15 Mar 2019
Two nurses on way to hospital die in Mumbai bridge-collapse
Written byShalini Ojha
Two nurses were among the six people who died after a portion of foot overbridge collapsed near Mumbai's Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus on Thursday evening. At least 33 people got injured in the fatal accident.
The two nurses have been identified as Ranajana Tambe (40) and Apurva Prabhu (35). They were on their way to the GT hospital when the bridge collapsed.
Nurses were given night shifts on Thursday
Tambe and Prabhu were given night shifts on Thursday. While Tambe was given duty in Ward No. 6, Prabhu was tasked with the operation theater. Prabhu is survived by her husband and two children, HT reports.
The other deceased have been identified as Zahid Shiraj Khan (32), Bhakti Shinde (40) and Tapendra Singh (35).
Incidentally, the injured were also taken to GT Hospital.
Eyewitness recalled he couldn't see anything after bridge collapsed
An eyewitness said he couldn't see anything for the first few minutes after the bridge collapsed.
"We heard a loud sound and rushed near the bridge. For the first two minutes, we could not see anything as there was dust everywhere," said Imran Khan, a driver.
Another taxi driver, one Mohammed Akhtar Ansari, said he had a close shave due to a red light.
Red light saved the life of a taxi driver
"I was on the road towards JJ flyover when the bridge collapsed. Fortunately, there were no cars on this side of the road since the traffic signal light opposite CST station was red," Ansari, who was taking a woman passenger to Mahim, said.
Notably, audit report said the bridge just needed "minor repairs"
The structure, called Himalayan Bridge, was part of the 296 bridges audited by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The report was filed in 2018 and it mentioned that the bridge needed "minor repairs".
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, "We will go to the root of this, and study how and why the contract auditor declared the bridge not dilapidated."
The bridge was famously called "Kasab Bridge"
The bridge which is adjacent to Times of India building was famously known as Ajmal Kasab Bridge. The terrorist had used this structure to exit the platform number 1 of CST on November 26, 2008, when Mumbai was attacked by LeT.
Meanwhile, police registered an FIR against BMC and Railways officials
The blame game between BMC and Railways started soon after the bridge collapsed. Both bodies claimed the other one was responsible for maintaining the bridge.
Meanwhile, police registered an FIR against concerned officials of BMC and Railways, for causing death by negligence, under IPC Section 304(A).
More stringent sections (probably culpable homicide not amounting to murder) could be applied after facts emerge.
When rescue team didn't reach on time, bystanders helped victims
As it turns out, a BMC office was just 50 meters away from the spot of the accident. Despite this, the first rescue team reached 15-20 minutes after the bridge collapsed.
So the bystanders became the first responders. They shifted the slabs and took out people trapped under the debris.
But then the injured had to wait for another 10 minutes for the ambulances.
Separately, CM Fadnavis has ordered high-level probe
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe and asked the municipal commissioner to "fix primary responsibility by evening".
Fadnavis said he has instructed police to not "spare anyone" in this case. "It was a serious and painful incident," he said.
The BJP leader also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each to the kin of deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those injured.
Mumbai's neglected bridges are a ticking time-bomb
This is the third major bridge-related incident to have rocked Mumbai in the last two years.
In July 2018, two people died and five were injured after a part of a 40-year old bridge at Andheri station collapsed.
Before that, a stampede broke out at Elphinstone station bridge in September 2017, in which 22 people died and 30 were seriously injured.
Despite the glaring laxity, no one seems to be paying attention.