The foot overbridge connecting north-end of Mumbai's nodal Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station to BT Lane near Anzuman Islam School collapsed on Thursday evening.
The bridge which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic CSMT station was commonly known as "Kasab bridge" after the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the terror attacks. Both GT and St George Hospital witnessed frantic scenes as injured and dead were brought after the mishap took place. Commuters have been asked to use alternate routes.
Five of the dead have been identified as Apoorwa Prabhu (35), Ranjana Tambe (40), Zaheer Siraj Khan (32), Bhakti Shinde (40) and Tapendra Singh (35).
"As per the information received, a part of foot over bridge near CSMT station in Mumbai collapsed".
An eyewitness, who was waiting at the signal, said, "We all were waiting impatiently at the signal as it was red". Some motorists who were driving under the bridge when it collapsed were among the injured, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Lawmakers and local party leaders rushed to the spot as political blame-game ensued.
Four fire brigade vehicles and two ambulances have reached the spot for rescue operations. "In 2016, under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the northern end of the bridge was taken up for beautification but not repairs". The casualty count is feared to rise further, said an official. "I have been pursuing the issue of this unsafe bridge for long and also wrote so many letters to officials but they were ignored".
Tawde meanwhile said an enquiry into the collapse would be conducted by the Railways and the BMC.
Charges will be framed against the officers accordingly, the official added. "This is the failure of the government and the system", he added.
The issue of dilapidated bridges in the city came to fore after the Gokhale Bridge at Andheri collapsed past year. Minor repairs had been carried out on the CST bridge six months ago as part of the audit.