22 feared dead as bridge collapses in western India

Rescue work in progress after Mahad Poladpur bridge was washed away by the flood waters of Savitri river on the Mumbai Goa highway near Mahad in Raigad district on Wednesday

22 feared dead as bridge collapses in western India

He said early reports indicated that at least two buses, travelling on the old bridge, fell into the Savitri River which was flooded by heavy monsoon rains. Fadnavis said that there was heavy rains in the catchment areas of Mahabaleshwar, which led to high pressure flooding on the river Savitri and the bride which was made during the British era collapsed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mr. Fadnavis over the telephone this morning and offered all help from the Centre in the rescue and relief efforts.

"As per initial information, some vehicles and people have been swept away". A Helicopter of the coast guard deployed the Chetak Helicopter which is presently being used to spot possible survivors and search for the missing vehicles.

A bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed on the wee hours of Wednesday, bringing traffic to a complete halt.

"The Indian Navy Seaking 42C, an all-weather aircraft with a diving team has been launched by the Navy". Very soon, Police rushed to the spot through another new bridge and restored the traffic over there.

The bridge gave way about 2 a.m. local time Wednesday, said Rakesh Ranjan, deputy commandant of the National Disaster Response Force and Civil Defence (NDRF), sending two buses into floodwaters below.

The bridge, constructed in the 1940s, was the older of two parallel bridges which are on a highway connecting India's financial capital with the tourism state of Goa.

NDRF teams are already activated, he tweeted.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has also asked Konkan Railway to render necessary assistance to the state government in the rescue operations.

Heavy rains became the obstacle for rescue operations. "So far, we have fished out bodies of two men", the officer said. It is believed that the vehicles have fallen into Savitri river.

The number of casualties has still not been ascertained and rescue operations are underway.

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