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Lalchamliana expresses anguish over railway bridge collapse

Aizawl: Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana today expressed his deep anguish at the recent railway bridge collapse in Mizoram on August 23 that caused loss of precious lives.

Lalchamliana, while addressing a debriefing on the on the collapse the under construction Railway Bridge (under construction) at Sairang Zero Point and rescue and body recovery operation, once again sent out his heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased workers. 

He hoped that despite the tragedy the crucial infrastructure project would be completed soon.

While appreciating the all-out efforts given by the teams involved in the search and rescue operations, he urged the meetings to come out with ideas for better preparedness in the event of another disaster.

He also took this opportunity to urge everyone to take the required extra precautionary measures in a seismic zone 5 state like Mizoram. He said that natural disasters are inevitable, but most of the man-made disasters can be avoided.

Chief Secretary Dr Renu Sharma, in her keynote address, quickly briefed about how the incident report was received and the subsequent course of action. She expressed her high appreciation for the rescue workers -NDRF, SDRF, QRT, medical teams, and officials for setting exemplary rescue operations. She also thanked the YMA members who arrived at the scene of the disaster first.

K Lalrinzuali, Secretary, DM&R, opened the debriefing session with the report on coordination between various teams who participated in the search and rescue operations. She also reported on the follow-up procedures after the completion of the operation.

The debriefing session was chaired by Benjamin Lalzama. Rescue workers were felicitated at the function. This was followed by reports from each team of the Rescue workers.

When the steel girder collapsed, killing 23 people working on it, they were at a dizzying height of around 100 metres above ground. The deceased belonged to Malda in West Bengal. Three other workers were injured in the accident.

The bridge — being constructed over an undulating hilly forested terrain and a river — is part of a long in-the-works project to take railway connectivity to Aizawl. The site of collapse was in Sairang Zero Point, around 19 km from Aizawl, and the bridge is on the approach to Sairang station, the last point of this broad gauge railway project.

The bridge is one of 185 bridges part of the 51.38 km long Bairabi-Sairang railway project. The piers — or columns — of the bridge had been erected at the time of the incident, which took place while one of the steel girders was being launched. The work was being carried out as a joint venture between ABCI Infrastructures Private Limited and BBJ Construction Company Limited, a Government of India enterprise, both based in Kolkata. 

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