More than 30 people were killed and over hundred injured when a suspension bridge collapsed in the Bijonbari, 38 km from Darjeeling town in West Bengal on Saturday.
The incident occurred at around 5.50 pm. The army rushed to the spot for rescue operation and medical aid.
The frail-old bridge collapsed as over 200 people stood on to attend a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) meeting and a village fair-cum-cultural show. The victims were hurled down into Chota Rangeet river.
Local residents immediately initiated rescue operations. The district magistrate leading a medical team also rushed to the spot. "More than 25 people died and injured have been admitted to the Darjeeling Sadar hospital. I have requested the army for rescue operation and for medical team," stated Saumitra Mohan, district magistrate, Darjeeling.
The injured consisted mainly of youngsters who had gathered to watch the cultural festival.
The injured were rushed to the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital, however, many could not survive the grueling 38 km ride and died on the way.
The hospital without an ICU and ventilator was ill equipped to handle such an emergency. Hence, many people were referred to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital near Siliguri, 76 km from Darjeeling town.
The locals arrived at the hospital to help the injured and medical staff. They even managed the traffic to avoid chaos.
"The chief minister is aggrieved by the situation and is keeping constant touch with the district administration. She has also spoken to GJM President Bimal Gurung. I have started from Kolkata and will be arriving at the spot on Sunday morning," stated Gautam Deb, North Bengal development minister, Government of West Bengal.