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At least 26 killed as railway bridge collapses in India

Guwahati, India

A railway bridge being built in India collapsed on Wednesday killing at least 26 workers and injuring two, police said, as the state-run railway authority opened an investigation.

A view shows a collapsed under-construction railway bridge in Sairang, Mizoram, India, on 23rd August, 2023

A view shows a collapsed under-construction railway bridge in Sairang, Mizoram, India, on 23rd August, 2023, posted on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati, Governor of Mizoram via X /Handout via Reuters

The accident happened in Sairang town in the north-eastern state of Mizoram, its chief minister, Zoramthanga, said on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Media reported that up to 40 workers were at the site when the bridge collapsed but police said 28 workers were present. 

“Rescue workers have been able to recover 13 bodies so far. Efforts are on to recover the remaining bodies,” said a state police official who declined to be identified.

The Northeast Frontier Railway said in a statement on the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that the mishap occurred during work on the Bhairbi-Sairang New Line Railway Project. 

The NRF said on its website the project will connect Mizoram to the rest of the country, boosting “tourism and socio-economic development”.

A “high level enquiry committee” had been set up to investigate, the NFR said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement “all possible assistance” was being given to those affected.

India’s extensive railway system is used by many millions of people every day.

The government has launched high-speed trains as part of plans to modernise the network but critics say it has not focused enough on safety and upgrading ageing infrastructure.

At least 288 people were killed in June in India’s worst rail crash in more than two decades. It was blamed on signal failure.

In October last year, a colonial-era suspension bridge collapsed in the western state of Gujarat killing 135 people.


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