There are numerous times when we have to commute through bridges in order to reach our desired destination. Bridges are critical transportation links that take us across other roads, rivers and mountains. But what if a bridge collapses or breaks down? Disasters can happen due to the collapse or failure of a bridge leading to several injuries, loss of lives and collateral damage that can be beyond easy repair.
India has also witnessed some major disastrous crisis due to the failure of bridges. As the failure can happen due to multiple factors, here is a list of 5 of the most concerning bridge failures that have happened in India:
1. Mumbai Stampede, 2017
A stampede broke out on the morning of September 29, 2017, at the Prabhadevi railway station (Elphinstone Road station) in Mumbai causing many deaths. The incident occurred during the rush hour in the morning when four local trains arrived simultaneously at the Prabhadevi station. As it began raining heavily during the time, there were numerous people who gathered on the narrow bridge to take shelter. As people began to move from the bridge, many of them slipped and fell leading to a huge stampede. There were many rumours about the actual cause of the stampede but that did not stop it from taking 23 lives during the crisis. 39 others were severely injured during the stampede, many suffered from chest compression and haemorrhage due to injuries. The narrow and weak bridge could not take the load of the passengers and eventually fell down, leading to many casualties.
2. Kolkata Flyover Collapse, 2016
Under-construction Vivekananda flyover in Girish Park, Kolkata collapsed on March 31, 2016. The incident took place on the busy crossing of Rabindra Sarani K K Tagore Street in the afternoon trapping many vehicles and pedestrians underneath. More than 50 people were killed and at least 80 were injured during the collapse of the flyover. The flyover was under-construction when it fell. Incidentally, the construction was scheduled to be finished in 2010, but the deadline was shifted multiple times. While multiple potential causes were being suggested by people for the collapse of the flyover, no actual conclusion was drawn as to how the bridge fell.
3. Mumbai-Goa Highway, 2016
The bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway that was built during the British Era came crashing down in the evening of August 2, 2016. The elementary reason for the collapse was declared to be the flooding of the river Savitri due to heavy rains in Mahabaleshwar area of Maharashtra. The bridge collapsed and two buses fell in the flooded river. At least 42 people were feared to be killed in the bridge collapse according to CM Devendra Fadnavis. Rescuers fished out 11 bodies from the Savitri River.
4. Valigonda Railway Bridge, 2005
A flash flood swept away a small rail bridge located at Valigonda, south of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh on October 29, 2005. While the bridge was flooded, a ‘Delta Fast Passenger’ train which was travelling on it, derailed at the broken section of the railway line. Four coaches crashed into the field close to the flooded tracks while three more fell into the water; later swept away further into the deeper water. The disaster killed at least 114 people and over 200 people were injured.
5. Rafiganj Rail Bridge, 2002
The high-speed luxury Howrah Rajdhani Express derailed on the bridge over the Dhave River near Rafiganj in Gaya, Bihar on September 10, 2002, causing one of the disastrous crises in the history. While initially the cause of the accident was said to be rusting of the old bridge, it was later revealed that the ‘accident’ was caused on purpose by the local Naxalites in the region. The derailing of the train on the bridge caused approximately 200 deaths and 150 people were injured in the accident.