• Friday, September 22, 2023


Under-construction railway bridge collapses in India’s Mizoram: 17 dead

Prime minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in South Africa for the BRICS summit, condoled the deaths and announced compensation for both the kin of the deceased and those injured.

A railway bridge in India. (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

IN a major accident, at least 17 people were killed after an under-construction railway bridge caved in the north-eastern Indian state of Mizoram on Wednesday (23). Authorities feared more people were trapped at the location and rescue efforts were underway to bring them out. The death toll could go up further.

Around 35 to 40 construction workers were reportedly at the site in Sairang, which is located about 21 kilometres from state capital Aizawl, when the structure collapsed.

Prime minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in South Africa for the BRICS summit, condoled the deaths and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh (£1,917.29) each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 (£479.32) each for the injured, the prime minister’s office (PMO) said in a post on X, formerly called Twitter.

“Pained by the bridge mishap in Mizoram. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being given to those affected. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured: PM @narendramodi,” the post from the PMO said.

Indian railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh (£9,586.43) for the kin of workers who died in the incident and an ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh for those who suffered minor injuries.

“Grieved by the unfortunate incident in Mizoram. NDRF, state administration and railway officials are at the site. Rescue operation on war footing. Ex-gratia compensation: ₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2 Lakh towards grievous and ?50,000 for minor injuries,” the minister said in a post on X.

Zoramthanga, chief minister of Mizoram which is due to go to election later this year, said the rescue operation was underway.

“Under construction railway over bridge at Sairang, near Aizawl collapsed today; atleast 17 workers died: Rescue under progress. Deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy. I extend my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured. Sending gratitude to the people who have come out in large numbers to help with rescue operations,” he said on X.

Zoramthanga belongs to the state’s ruling Mizo National Front, a member of the North East Democratic Alliance led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal posted on X, “Deeply saddened by the tragic incident in Mizoram where an under-construction railway bridge collapsed in Sairang. My heart goes out to the families affected by the tragedy, I pray for them. Let’s stand united in these difficult times.”

Sabyasachi De, chief public relation officer of Northeast Frontier Railway, said a team of railway officers rushed to the spot.

(With agency inputs)

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