17 killed as under-construction railway bridge collapses in Mizoram

The under-construction railway bridge that collapsed in Mizoram killing 17 persons on August 23, 2023.

Aizawl: At least 17 workers were killed and several others are feared trapped after an under-construction railway bridge collapsed near Sairang area of Mizoram on Wednesday, PTI reported quoting police.

Nearly 35-40 workers were present at the site, about 21km from Aizawl, when the incident occurred around 10 am, they said.

“Seventeen bodies have been recovered from the debris so far… many others are still missing,” a police officer said, adding, rescue and relief efforts are underway.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Narendra Modi condoled the family members of the deceased, and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the victims.

“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,” the Prime Minister’s Office said on X.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said he was deeply saddened over the loss of lives in the incident, and expressed gratitude to all those who helped in the rescue operation.

“Under construction railway over bridge at Sairang, near Aizawl collapsed today; at least 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 posted on X.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the deceased workers in Mizoram include a few from Malda district in her state.

Banerjee also said she has instructed officials to coordinate with the Mizoram government for assistance in the rescue operation. “Shocked to learn about the tragic collapse today of an under-construction railway bridge in Mizoram, leading to loss of lives of several site workers, including some belonging to our Malda district,” she wrote on X.

“Have instructed my chief secretary to coordinate with Mizoram administration at once for rescue/assistance operations. Malda district administration has been asked to reach out to the bereaved families for extending all possible help. We shall give due compensation asap to the next of kin of the affected families. Solidarity to the distressed, condolences to the families of the deceased. Situation under watch,” Banerjee added. 

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