BMC suspends 2 over fatal bridge collapse

BMC orders re-audit of all Mumbai bridges

A day after parts of a footbridge collapsed in south Mumbai taking 6 lives and injuring 31, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Friday, suspended two officials, initiated a departmental enquiry and ordered a re-audit of all city bridges. The Mumbai police too opened a parallel probe by registering an FIR.

As part of the re-audit, the civic body also reassigned the bridges that had been audited by the firm responsible for auditing the collapsed Himalaya footbridge at the city’s CSTM railway station to another structural auditor.

BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta placed two engineers of the civic bridges department under suspension, while ordering three other senior engineers to face a departmental probe. Mr. Mehta also ordered the filing of an FIR against and the blacklisting of D. D. Desai, the structural auditor.

The BMC will also issue a show-cause notice to the contractor who undertook certain repairs to the footbridge in 2013, prior to a blacklisting. The removal of the collapsed bridge’s steel frame began on Friday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had, during a visit to the site, assured that responsibility for the bridge collapse would be fixed by Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the Azad Maidan police expanded the probe to include “all individuals and institutions concerned with the maintenance of the bridge.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Abhishek Trimukhe said, “We have sought all documents concerned with the bridge from the BMC. Our investigation will be independent of the action taken by the civic body. Samples have also been collected by a team from the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) for testing.”

Dombivli residents Apoorva Prabhu, Ranjana Tambe and Bhakti Shinde, three nurses of GT Hospital, who died were all cremated in Dombivli, where they resided. The body of Mohan Kaygunde was taken to his native Karad. The last rites of the other two victims, Zahid Khan and Tapendra Singh, were conducted near their respective homes in Ghatkopar and Sewree.

Of the critically injured, two persons with severe head injuries have been shifted to the state-run J J Hospital as they require neurosurgery. Three others underwent orthopaedic surgery.

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