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DISASTER

In photos: A third bridge collapses in India this year

Maria Thomas
By Maria Thomas

Writer at Quartz India

At least one person was reportedly killed after a section of a 40-year-old bridge in Kolkata, West Bengal, collapsed during the evening rush hour on Sept. 04.

At about 4.45 pm, there was a loud noise and a part of the Majerhat bridge came crashing down, trapping several vehicles under it, according to eyewitnesses in the busy south Kolkata neighbourhood of Alipore. Despite darkness setting in and the rain, relief teams managed to rescue several people; up to 31 injured persons were hospitalised, according to media reports.

The incident has renewed concerns over the state of infrastructure in the city, which witnessed a similar crisis in 2016 when part of an flyover under construction collapsed, killing 21 people and injuring 60.

It’s also the third such infrastructure disaster in India this year alone, coming months after a part of a flyover in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, came down, and an overbridge connecting train stations in India’s financial capital Mumbai collapsed. Both incidents claimed several lives and injured many more.

In fact, a safety audit conducted in 2017 by the government’s ministry of road transport and highways found that up to 100 bridges in India are unsafe, posing a risk to thousands. But little has been done to fix things.

Here are some photos of the latest disaster in Kolkata:

Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
The wreckage of vehicles at the site of the bridge that collapsed in Kolkata on Sept. 04.
Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri -
At least one person died and several were injured.
Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Firefighters and rescue workers search for victims at the site.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force and Indian Army at the site.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
Searching for survivors.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
Rescue teams were quickly dispatched to the site.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
Several vehicles were plying on the bridge when it collapsed.
EPA-EFE/Piyal Adhikary
Darkness made the rescue operations a challenge.
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