An old British era bridge near Mahad in Raigad district over the Savitri river collapsed late on Tuesday night, taking with it several vehicles that were plying on it including two State Transport (ST) buses.
Preliminary reports suggest more than 10 vehicles could have fallen into the river, not suspecting the bridge had given way due to continuous heavy rains that led to floods in the river.
The two ST buses that fell into the river were carrying 17 passengers.
The accident is learnt to have occurred late into Tuesday night — between 11.30pm to 12.30am. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that he first heard of the accident at 2am in the morning.
There is no confirmed assessment of the casualties as the area is still very dark,” tweeted Fadnavis in a series of tweets on the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Fadnavis about the accident and reviewed the ongoing rescue plans, said the CM’s office.
“ Two buses — Jaigad-Mumbai and Rajapur-Borivali — are suspected to have washed away in the flood when the bridge collapsed along with some private vehicles. Nine passengers were in the first bus and eight passengers were in the second one,”said VV Ratnaparakhi, general manager (traffic) of MSRTC.
According to MSRTC officials, the incident took place around 11.30pm on the Mumbai-Goa highway. They learnt about the incident as a driver of a Mumbai-bound bus saw the buses being washed away when the bridge collapsed. He immediately alerted MSRTC control.
Crew of both the buses could not be reached. Ranjitsingh Deol, vice chairman and managing director of MSRTC confirmed the incident adding that their officials have reached the spot They are trying help NDRF and other authorities involved in the search and rescue operation.