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Mumbai bridge collapse - Families demand answers

March 16, 2019

Families of the people killed in the Mumbai foot overbridge collapse on Thursday are demanding answers from the government. They want to know why the bridge was not repaired even after a structural audit pointed to the urgent need for it.

In nine months, two bridges have collapsed in Mumbai and eight people have died. The latest collapse took place outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Six people were killed and 31 injured. On 3 July, a pedestrian pathway of Gokhale bridge had collapsed on the railway tracks at Andheri railway station. Two people had lost their lives and five were injured in the incident.

After the first incident, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal had ordered an audit of 445 bridge structures that were crossing the railway tracks or were adjacent to it. The audit was headed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay and had a team of engineers from the Railways and the municipal corporation. The team had shut a bridge in Lower Parel and in other parts of the city.

A series of recommendations were shared with the civic authorities during the inspection of the other bridges on the railway premises.

Meanwhile, families of the victims are asking why the authorities overlooked the need for repairs. Hours after the bridge collapse Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the authorities had conducted a structural audit of the structure and found nothing wrong with it.

A structural audit of the bridge had earlier been done, and it was found to be fit. If such an incident happened even after that, it raises a question on the audit. An inquiry will be carried out. Strictest action will be taken. - Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Chief Minister

One of the family members of the survivors asked the media, "They say they had conducted a survey of all bridges. What exactly happened in the survey. If they said the bridge was fine, how did it collapse?"

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