One dead, 19 injured after Kolkata bridge collapses

Rescuers work at the scene after a highway overpass collapsed on a sewage canal in Kolkata India Tuesday Sept. 4 2018. There were no immediate reports of deaths but police and firefighters were using cutting tools to clear the wreckage and it was

A bridge collapsed in south Kolkata's Majherhat area on Tuesday, toppling several vehicles and trapping people in the rubble. Jams were witnessed in many parts of the city on roads arterially connected to the Majerhat Bridge road.

"So far six people have been rescued and admitted in hospital", Firhad Hakim, a minister in local government said, adding that "it was a 40-year-old bridge".

Circular Railway services were also affected after the bridge collapse, an Eastern Railway spokesperson said.

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Personnel of the Central Armed Police Force were also called in for assistance in the rescue operation. Twenty six people were killed when the under-construction Vivekananda Flyover collapsed in the city's Posta area on March 31, 2016.

Principal Secretary of Transport BP Gopalika said additional state buses have been pressed into service to cater to residents in the affected areas. Its proximity to Garden Reach and Khidirpur makes Majerhat Bridge one of the busiest in the city.

CM Mamata Banerjee termed the incident as a "crime". Traffic movement to and from Behala suburbs and South 24 Parganas district were hit.

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As rescue efforts continued on Wednesday, several commuters were stuck in traffic as the Diamond Harbour Road was closed. Many vehicles are said to be buried under the debris. Some of them said the bridge has collapsed. "Rest of the investigation will be done later", said Banerjee, who is in Darjeeling. "The matter required to be enquired", he told reporters. Cranes have been deployed and gas cutters are being used for the rescue operation. President Ram Nath Kovind said he was "sorry to learn" about the partial bridge collapse.

The Majerhat Bridge was built about five decades ago over the Sealdah-Budge Budge suburban railway line. "Hard to gauge enormity of tragedy as yet looking at visuals".

The last time a flyover collapsed in the city was on March 31, 2016, when a almost 500 feet section of an under construction structure caved in at the city's trading hub of Burrabazar killing 27 persons and injuring about 80.

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It is possible that not many are trapped under the collapsed part of the bridge.

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