MARGAO: At least 15 people are feared to have drowned in the Zuari river at Sanvordem, after a 30-metre span of a steel footbridge adjacent to an old bridge collapsed on Thursday evening.
One body was fished out of the waters late night by fire brigade personnel and six people were rescued. The footbridge collapsed around 6.30pm as fire personnel were recovering the body of a person, Santosh Vandar, found floating in the river. He had allegedly committed suicide.
Onlookers crowded on the footbridge to watch the operation when the structure gave way, sending a large number of people crashing into the river. While several swam ashore to safety, eye witnesses said those who tried to save the drowning people, were also carried away by the strong current. Police identified the body that was recovered on Thursday as that of Basavraj Malnavar, 30, a truck driver from Sanguem. The rescued were rushed to hospitals and are learnt to be out of danger.
Rescue operations by the Navy and the Coast Guard were under way until last reports came in. Guard were under way until last reports came in.CM Manohar Parrikar, who briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the tragedy, said there would be very few casualties. Parrikar, who was monitoring the situation, said he had spoken to the Navy.
PWD minister Ramkrishna `Sudin’ Dhavalikar said people ignored the warnings put up at the footbridge, leading to the tragedy. “People were warned not to use the bridge. But on Thursday, almost 100 jumped over from the old bridge to this footbridge They invited the calamity,” he said.
News at it happened
35 people rescued.
9 Navy Divers with Geminis boats & associated equipment rush to Curchorem, for Search & Rescue operation.
Four persons were rescued and rushed to the hospital
Two people were killed and 30 were left missing after a dilapidated Portuguese-era bridge collapsed at Curchorem.
.In a major news atleast 50 people fell off an old Portuguese era Zuari foot bridge in Sanvordem,
The incident happened when police were attempting rescue of a youth who jumped off the bridge. Number of casualties still unclear. Police and Fire brigade at spot.
PWD Minister Sudhin Dhavlikar, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar and other other concerned authorities have reached the tragedy site. It is noted that, 5 people have been rescued so far while some have swam out of the river. Total no of casualties are still not clear while rescue operation is underway. Chief Ministers Office has sought help from Navy.
One dead body found hanging on the collapsed footbridge which was pulled out with a crane. In-water operations not started till 8.30 pm.
Some of the people managed to swim across and save themselves but rest are feared drowned in the river. The actual figure will only come out once the rescue operation is over. . The Fire And Emergency Services personnel started searching for others. Further details are awaited.
Suleiman was the real hero of the day. The rescue team equipped with life jackets did not dare to enter the water. Seeing so many people struggling to reach the shore Suleiman single handedly jumped using the only rope available and saved few lives Let’s Salute this boy. He definitely deserves bravery award.