Second Collapse Of Under Construction Bridge In India Shakes Nation
A four-lane concrete bridge, intended to span the River Ganges in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, has suffered a devastating collapse for the second time in just over a year. The second collapse of under construction bridge in Indiais reigniting doubts regarding the construction standards employed.
Video footage captured the harrowing moment on Sunday as the 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) bridge dramatically plummeted into the river, causing a plume of debris and dust to rise into the sky and sending waves rippling across the holy waters.
Moment under-construction bridge collapses into river in Northern India
The ill-fated Sultanganj Bridge has experienced two collapses since construction commenced in 2017, with the initial incident occurring in April of the previous year. The reasons behind the collapse last year remain unclear, and it is uncertain if any rectifications were made to address the issues.
Distressed onlookers gathered on the river bank, recording the bridge's catastrophic downfall while shouting in disbelief. CNNhas been unable to verify reports of any injuries resulting from the incident.
In response to the unfortunate event, Bihar's Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, announced on Monday that an inquiry would be launched to investigate the matter thoroughly.
Canadian design and engineering firm McElhanney, responsible for the bridge's design, released a statement expressing its awareness of the "partial collapse" and conveyed deep concern for the safety and well-being of those affected by the incident. The company pledged full cooperation with any investigations that may arise.
While CNN reached out to SP Singla Constructions, the firm tasked with building the bridge, no immediate response was received.
According to McElhanney, the Sultanganj Bridge was anticipated to provide a vital link across the Ganges, featuring four traffic lanes and a footpath. The firm's website stated that the bridge would alleviate congestion on the state's three existing road bridges.
Regrettably, the Sultanganj Bridge is not the only one to have suffered a catastrophic collapse in India within the past year. In October of the previous year, a suspension bridge in the town of Morbi, Gujarat, gave way, resulting in the tragic loss of 135 lives.
As investigations into the Sultanganj Bridge collapse begin, authorities, construction firms, and engineers should collaboratively work to identify the causes of the repeated failures and implement corrective measures to prevent such incidents from recurring. The safety of the public must remain the utmost priority during the planning, design, and construction phases of infrastructure projects.
With multiple lives lost and valuable resources wasted, it is imperative for India's construction industry to address the underlying issues, foster a culture of accountability, and ensure that future projects are executed with the highest level of professionalism and quality standards.