Kolkata bridge collapse: 2nd body recovered from accident spot

India bridge collapse Kolkata Majerhat Bridge dead

NEWS 18 KOLKATA A massive rescue operation is underway to save people trapped in the debris

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is now in Darjeeling, late on Tuesday said that rescue work was nearly over and only a concrete slab remains to be cut to find out whether any person was trapped there.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is now in Darjeeling, is expected to cut short his visit and return to Kolkata on Wednesday and visit the site.

State minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said she has heard about the death of five persons but it is yet to be confirmed. "We all looking at all angles". We are holding an emergency meeting on Thursday to chart future course of action. The concrete segment that slammed to the ground killed at least one person and injured another 23, police said Wednesday.

An official of the Kolkata Traffic Police said, "We expect traffic jam because the Majherhat bridge has collapsed". The train services in the Budge Budge-Sealdah section resumed at around 9 pm, an ER spokesman said.

"Since the Majerhat bridge is very old, it is hard keep track of documentation".

This is a third bridge collapse in the city since 2013. Till now, we are unable to locate anybody.

Meanwhile, a political slugfest erupted with the Opposition parties on Wednesday accusing the TMC government of "neglecting" fix and maintenance of bridges and only painting various installations blue and white.

In the wake of Majerhat bridge collapse in Kolkata on Tuesday, the traffic police has issued an advisory asking people to avoid certain stretch. She said a probe would be ordered to find out the cause of the collapse. "The fix and maintenance of bridges took a back seat". "The PWD minister Arup Biswas should take the responsibility", he said. "No one will be spared", she said. "She should keep aside her prime ministerial ambitions and pay attention to the state". The state government is exclusively responsible for it.

"Undertaking beautification work in the city is nothing wrong and it doesn't mean fix of bridges has been neglected".

A mini bus, four cars and a few motorcycles that were damaged in the bridge collapse were removed using cranes, the official said.

According to a senior official of the state PWD department, the government was about to undertake fix work on the decrepit Majerhat bridge and a tender was floated in this regard but it got delayed due to bureaucratic wrangles.

The bridge in crowded Alipore area runs over the Majerhat Railway Station and connects the city centre with the heavily populated Behala, vast areas of the southwest suburbs and neighbouring South 24 Parganas district.

Earlier in the day, at around 4:30 PM, a portion of the arterial Majerhat bridge in the southern part of the metropolis collapsed.

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