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Friday, 19 May 2017 09:22

Onlookers watching a man trying to commit suicide fall into river as bridge collapses in Goa; 2 dead

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Panaji, May 19: A foot bridge connecting Sanvordem and Curchorem villages in South Goa district of Goa collapsed on Thursday, killing two people and injuring several others.

savordem

The exact number of persons missing was still not known.

The tragedy took place after a crowd had assembled on the several decade-old dilapidated bridge to watch an operation to rescue a youth who allegedly jumped into the river to commit suicide.

Search operations resumed this morning for at least two persons feared to have drowned.

The Portuguese-era bridge across the river Sanvordem, a tributary of river Zuari, was closed for traffic for the last four years.

While fire and emergency services personnel were busy rescuing the youth, some 50 people were watching their efforts from the bridge when it gave way and they fell into the water.

The police said around 20 of them swam to safety. Another 14 people were rescued and taken to nearby hospitals.

"The rescue operation began at 7.30 am today and efforts are on to check whether there are any more bodies in the water," Superintendent of Police (South) Shekhar Prabhudesai said.

"The search operation was called off around midnight yesterday due to poor visibility. The divers from Indian Navy and a private agency, which mans Goa's beaches, have been pressed into service to search for the bodies," the SP said.

A spokesman for the Indian Navy today said the collapsed part of the bridge was removed last night. "Diving was stopped at around 3.30 am on the request of the collector. The diving operation has resumed this morning."

He said since crocodiles are known to be present in the river water, precautions are being taken for the safety of the divers.

"As per local inputs, there may be two more persons missing. A helicopter sortie is being undertaken along the river for aerial search," he said.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday told reporters that all concerned agencies have been pressed into action.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he spoke to Parrikar following the bridge collapse reports.

Public Works Department minister Sudin Dhavalikar, who had rushed to the site, said the bridge was closed for use for the last four years.

"People who were keen on witnessing the rescue operation for a youth who had jumped into the river to commit suicide removed the barricades on the bridge," he said.

 

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