Two Maharashtra state transport buses with 22 people have gone missing after the vehicles were swept away in the swollen Savitri River in Konkan region as an old bridge collapsed at Mahad.
The bridge on the Mumbai-Goa Highway came down late last night, bringing traffic to a halt.
Two buses of state transport with 18 passengers, two drivers and two conductors have gone missing in the Mahad tragedy, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said in a tweet today.
Fadnavis, who is monitoring the situation closely since morning said, “There were two parallel bridges; one is a new bridge and one constructed during the British era. The old one collapsed.”
The primary reason seems to be the high pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri due to heavy rains in catchment of Mahabaleshwar, he said.
“Spoke to Raigad SP and Collector about bridge collapse on Mumbai-Goa Highway. Administration has rushed to spot for rescue and immediate measures,” Fadnavis said.
“Traffic on highway is stopped. Administration is ascertaining strength and stability of new bridge,” he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Fadnavis today and was briefed about the bridge collapse.
“The PM offered all help in rescue and relief operations,” Fadnavis said.
NDRF teams are already activated, he tweeted.
The Coast Guard has deployed a Chetak helicopter to carry out search for people who were swept away from the bridge.
Soon after the incident, Raigad SP Suvez Haque and Collector visited the spot where the bridge once stood.
Darkness had hampered operations, which resumed this morning.