- Army has sent its personnel for rescue work in the area
- A huge portion of the Majerhat bridge in south Kolkata collapsed
- Mamata Banerjee said priority now "is relief and rescue..."
A section of a bridge in a busy area of posh south Kolkata came crashing down this afternoon, triggering shock across the city. Many people are feared trapped underneath, some still in their vehicles. One person was killed, 19 were injured and they have been shifted to the hospital.
The army, which has its base in the nearby Fort William, has sent its personnel for rescue work.
Derek O'Brien, lawmaker of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress, tweeted: "Cranes already put into action. Fire fighters using ladders already being used. Disaster management teams at work."
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said:
The collapse of a part of a bridge in Kolkata is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2018
The 40-year-old bridge, built by the Port Trust, stood over some rail tracks in Alipour -- one of the very old areas of the city. The area is surrounded by half-constructed buildings, scaffolding and pillars.
Eyewitnesses said around 4.45 pm, a huge segment of the bridge came crashing down. Pictures from the area showed the collapsed section resting on the road, at least nine vehicles, including a mini bus, and several two-wheelers still on it.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a visit to Darjeeling, said the priority for now "is relief and rescue... The rest of the investigation will be done later".
"We want to go back as soon as possible. There are no flights in the evening, we are unable to do so," the Chief Minister added.
BJP's Mukul Roy said the state government and the Chief Minister were responsible for the bridge collapse. "They are saying beautification of city is on, but repair work of old constructions is not on her mind. The state government should take complete responsibility for this collapse".
In March 2016, a section of an under-construction flyover had collapsed in central Kolkata's busy Burrabazar area.
With days of rescue efforts by special teams, nearly 90 people, with various levels of injury, were rescued from under the rubble. Twenty-six people were found dead, buried under tons of concrete.. Eight engineers were arrested in the case.
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