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All dead bodies in railway bridge collapse recovered

Minutes before and after the bridge collapse

Aizawl: With recovery of one more body on Friday, all the bodies of those killed in the collapse of a steel girder of bridge number 196 at Zero point near Sairang village, about 18 kilometres west of Mizoram capital Aizawl city on Wednesday, have been found and recovered.

The railroad bridge, while being placed between two tall pillars, collapsed at 9.58 AM bringing down 25 people to over 100 metres below, resulting in the deaths of 23 people and injuring 3 persons including one person stranded in a pillar.

One engineer, stranded on top of a pillar, was rescued by the members of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) by lowering him down with a stretcher. The engineer was admitted to the Civil Hospital in Aizawl where his condition is stated to be stable, though completely exhausted. 

All the dead bodies have been sent to their respective homes in West Bengal’s Malda district after post mortem examination were undertaken and under the arrangement made by the Northeast Frontier Railways. 

On Wednesday, 18 bodies were recovered before suspension of search operation at night due to difficult terrain and possible heavy downpour while 4 bodies were recovered on Thursday. The last missing body was recovered at around 12.45 PM on Friday.

Police statement on Friday (August 25) said the incident occurred while the workers numbering 26 were working at the railway overbridge which led to the death of 23 labourers, while three workers sustained injuries. 

“18 dead bodies were successfully recovered from the wreckage on the same day itself, while the remaining five workers were trapped and covered by the debris,” a statement from IGP (Hqrs.) and chief public relations cfficer of state police Lalbiakthanga Khiangte. 

Aizawl District Police, SDRF team of 1st MAP, 3rd MAP and 5th IR, NDRF, BSF, Medical team from Sairang PHC and Civil Hospital Aizawl, Quick Response Teams (QRT) from DM&R and Aizawl DC, and volunteers from Sairang YMA, Sairang Dinthar YMA and Sihhmui YMA were engaged in the search operation and rescue operation. 

The skillful and untiring search by the rescue teams continued and the last missing dead body was successfully located and recovered today at 12:54pm. Hats off to all involved who put their best efforts in the rescue missions, the statement said. 

“Our wonderful furry comrades from our very own Mizoram Police Canine Squad – 1). ‘Servo’ (Search & Rescue, Handler: Const. Zonunsanga Ralte) and 2). ‘Offly’ (Tracker, Handler: Const. Lalawmpua) assisted and carried out the search operations and were instrumental in detecting last 4 (four) dead bodies covered by muds and debris,” the statement said. 

Meanwhile, Ministry of Railways constituted a High Level Committee to inquire into the cause of accident of the collapse of the steel girder of bridge number 196 in connection with construction of Bairabi-Sairang new line project.

B.P. Awasthi, PED-II, RDSO is appointed as the convener with Dr. Dipti Ranjan Sahoo, Associate Dean and Professor, Structural Engineering, IIT Delhi as member (expert) and two other members were also appointed.

“The committee shall submit its report within one month from the date of its constitution,” the order issued by Vijay Kumar, Under Secretary (Estt.)-I, on Thursday said.


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Zoram Chronicle