18 killed after under-construction railway bridge collapses in Mizoram

A railway bride in Mizoram was collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least 18 people.

AIZAWL, Aug 23: At least 18 workers were killed and five others missing after an under-construction railway bridge collapsed in Mizoram’s Aizawl district on Wednesday, police said.
Three persons were injured in the incident that occurred around 10 am in Sairang area, about 21 km from state-capital Aizawl, they said.
Most of the victims are believed to be from Pukuria, English Bazar and Manikchak in West Bengal’s Malda district, a senior official of the eastern state said.
“Sixteen bodies have been recovered from the debris so far, while two others are yet to be retrieved. Five workers are reported missing,” IGP (Law & Order) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said.
Rescue and relief efforts are underway, he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she has instructed officials to coordinate with the Mizoram government for assistance in the rescue operation.
The Railways said the accident was due to the collapse of a gantry, which was being launched on the under-construction bridge over Kurung river.
A high-level committee has been constituted to probe the incident involving the under-construction bridge, one of the 130 bridges in the Bhairavi-Sairang New Railway Line project.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the family members of the deceased, and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the victims.
“Pained by the bridge mishap in Mizoram. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being given to those affected.
“An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured,” the Prime Minister’s Office said on X.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said he was deeply saddened over the loss of lives in the incident, and expressed gratitude to all those who helped in the rescue operation.
“Under construction railway over bridge at Sairang, near Aizawl collapsed today; at least 17 workers died: Rescue under progress. Deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy. I extend my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured. Sending gratitude to the people who have come out in large numbers to help with rescue operations,” he posted on X.
Earlier, Banerjee expressed “shock” over the bridge collapse, and said compensation for the families of the victims would soon be announced.
“Shocked to learn about the tragic collapse today of an under-construction railway bridge in Mizoram, leading to loss of lives of several site workers, including some belonging to our Malda district,” she wrote on X.
“Have instructed my chief secretary to coordinate with Mizoram administration at once for rescue/assistance operations. Malda district administration has been asked to reach out to the bereaved families for extending all possible help. We shall give due compensation asap to the next of kin of the affected families. Solidarity to the distressed, condolences to the families of the deceased. Situation under watch,” Banerjee added. (PTI)
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the kin of the workers.
He also announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries. (PTI)