A five-year-old bridge in Bihar snapped into two and fell into a river on Sunday, nearly two months after the massive Morbi bridge tragedy. No one was injured in the latest incident as the bridge was yet to be formally opened to the public due to the lack of an access road.
The bridge was built over the river Burhi Gandak in Begusarai district at a cost of Rs 13 crore. "It was to be inaugurated soon but it collapsed before that," an official said.
Residents claimed the bridge had barely been used as vehicles were not allowed on it.
Images showed broken parts of the bridge submerged in the river.
Nobody was on the bridge at the time of the incident, the administration said.
The bridge was built under the Chief Minister National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) scheme.
The bridge collapse would impact more than 20,000 people who were cut off from major roads and towns, an official said. "It will affect students, farmers, those requiring medical care...," the official said.
Senior district officer Roshan Kushwaha said the bridge was never formally opened but people used it anyway since it was ready. Over the past three days, the 206-metre long bridge had developed cracks.
"The bridge was temporarily shut for use. We're assessing the reason behind the bridge collapse... Whether it is a technical flaw or otherwise, we are examining it," he added.
In October, more than 130 people were killed when a century-old suspension bridge fell in Gujarat's Morbi. The bridge crashed just days after it reopened to the public following seven months of repair and renovation.
The accused in the case include the owners of Oreva, a watchmaker that bagged the Gujarat civic body's contract to repair the bridge. Investigations revealed that the structure snapped under the weight of close to 500 people. Old cables had not been replaced and could not support the new and heavier flooring.