New Delhi, Aug 23 (EFE).- An under-construction railway overbridge collapsed into a deep gorge in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, killing at least 17 workers on Wednesday, officials said.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said the tragedy unfolded in Sairang, a town around 20 km (12 miles) from Aizwal, the capital of the mountainous region.
“Under construction railway overbridge at Sairang, near Aizawl, collapsed today. Atleast 17 workers died. Rescue under progress,” Zoramthanga wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
Zoramthanga said residents came “out in large numbers to help with rescue operations.”
The chief minister shared social media some images of the collapsed bridge in a mountainous area, where a section of it gave way, falling into the dense forest within the gorge.
Local media reported that some 40 workers were at the site when the bridge caved in.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Johannesburg for the BRICS summit, said he was “pained by the bridge mishap in Mizoram.”
“Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon,” Modi wrote on X.
“Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being given to those affected.”
The prime minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 200,000 (approximately $2,400) to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the injured.
Tragic road and railway accidents have regrettably become common in India, the world’s most populous nation, where the transportation infrastructure has long been plagued by insufficient safety measures.
The monsoon season exacerbates these issues, introducing the risk of landslides.
One of India’s most devastating bridge collapses occurred in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, claiming over 130 lives in October last year.
The centenary bridge re-opened had days ago after a seven-month closure due to renovation. EFE