Maharashtra bridge collapse: 5 bodies found; search and rescue operations on
Five bodies were recovered on Thursday from the swollen Savitri River after two state-run buses and some other vehicles got washed away following collapse of a British-era bridge in Raigad district even as rescue workers lowered a 300 kg magnet to trace the missing vehicles.
Navy and Coast Guard personnel have stepped up operations to trace those missing after the old bridge collapsed on Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad, about 170 kms from Mumbai, in Raigad district late on Tuesday. 22 people were travelling in the two buses.
Five bodies have been recovered. One body, which is of a man, is believed to be that of a driver of one of the buses, while the second body is of a woman. These two bodies are of victims of yesterday's incident, Raigad's Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjay Patil said.
Police said another body has also been recovered, but it is yet to be confirmed if it is of a victim of the bridge collapse mishap. The bodies were fished out of the river at about 50-60 kms from the mishap site.
There were reports on Wednesday that two bodies were recovered during search. However, district police had later clarified that no bodies were found till last night.
Earlier this morning, a 300 kg magnet was lowered with the help of a crane in the river to trace the missing buses. Something has got stuck to the magnet and efforts are on to pull it out of the river, a local official said.
Navy divers resumed search operations early on Thursday, while a Chetak helicopter of the Coast Guard also started sortie of the affected area, a Defence spokesperson said.
Nearly 28 marine commandos, over 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) jawans and 25 Coast Guard personnel were pressed into the search and rescue operation
No survivors have been found despite a gruelling search and rescue operation on Wednesday. According to district officials, one of the buses was proceeding to Mumbai from Jaigad in Raigad, and the other was on its way to Borivali (Mumbai) from Rajapur.
Besides the two buses, several other vehicles were also believed to have fallen into the swollen river.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who conducted an aerial survey of the area, accompanied by PWD Minister Chnadrakant Patil and Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Congress), announced at Mahad on Wednesday that the government will carry out a safety audit of all old bridges in the state.