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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Goa bridge collapse: Crocodiles stall rescue efforts, at least 15 people missing

At least two people died when a bridge collapsed in South Goa on Thursday. About 15 people are missing.

india Updated: May 19, 2017 17:55 IST
Nida Khan
Nida Khan
Hindustan Times, Panaji
A metal footbridge collapsed at Savordem-Curchorem on Thursday.
A metal footbridge collapsed at Savordem-Curchorem on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Crocodiles in the Zuari river obstructed the rescue operation launched after a bridge collapsed in South Goa district of Goa several times on Thursday night as Indian Navy divers and Indian Coast Guard personnel struggled to reach the deeper areas, officials said on Friday.

At least two people died and several others went missing after the bridge connecting Sanvordem and Curchorem villages gave way on Thursday. The victims were standing on the dilapidated bridge watching an operation to rescue a man, who allegedly jumped into the river to commit suicide.

“There is already no light and to make it worse the river has crocodiles in it. The divers cannot go to the deep areas and therefore we have to halt the mission,” a senior official said on Thursday.

The rescue mission was launched again at around 7am on Friday with the help of Chetak helicopters. “An aerial inspection is being done. Till now close to 15 people are missing,” South Goa collector Swapnil Naik said.

Authorities fear as there are a large number of crocodiles in the water, the possibility of an attack on the victims remains high.

“We have been searching all night. Considering the population of wild crocodiles in the river, the situation appears to be quite dim as of now,” said a senior police official.

The Portuguese-era bridge across the river Sanvordem, a tributary of river Zuari, was closed for traffic for the last 4 years.

First Published: May 19, 2017 11:50 IST