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Bridge over canal collapses in north Bengal as truck passes, driver injured

The middle portion of the bridge near Siliguri collapsed on a canal below when a truck was crossing it and the vehicle is stuck in the broken portion of the bridge.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2018 17:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Darjeeling,Darjeeling bridge collapse,Bengal bridge collapse
The bridge connects Manganj and Phansidewa areas to Siliguri, in north Bengal. (ANI Photo)

A day after chief minister Mamata Banerjee raised a red flag about as many as 20 bridges in Kolkata and Howrah which were past their “expiry dates”, a bridge caved-in in north Bengal’s Darjeeling district when a truck was passing over it on Friday morning.

This is the second incident of bridge collapse in the state in three days. The Majerhat Bridge collapsed in South Kolkata on September 4, killing three persons and injuring 24.

However, in Friday’s accident, no lives were lost while the truck driver escaped with minor injuries.

However, the damage bridge over the canal that caved in will create enormous difficulties for thousands of residents for about a dozen villages who depended on this bridge.

The incident at Phansidewa took place around 9:30 am. A canal runs under the bridge.

“It was a small bridge. None was injured,” said Sanjay Das, inspector-in-charge of Phansidewa police station.

The location is around 20 km from Siliguri town in between Phansidewa and Chatterhat in Phansidewa block.

“There are as many as 72 rivers in north Bengal over which thousands of bridges exist. This bridge was a weak one. PWD engineers checked it and erected a board at the location that the structure was unsafe. Yet quite a few trucks used to ply over this bridge,” said north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh.

“PWD?engineers check the safety of structures every six months. But it is not possible to repair bridges in monsoon,” he added.

However, tourism minister and Trinamool Congress president of Darjeeling district, Gautam Deb, put the responsibility of maintaining the structure on the Left.

“The structure is within the area of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (subdivisional council). It is ruled by the Left and they are responsible for the maintenance of the bridge. I have asked PWD engineers to rush there,” he said.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 10:39 IST