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One dead, five injured as panels collapse at Churchgate station, Bandra skywalk in Mumbai

At Churchgate station, six aluminium panels that make up the Mahatma Gandhi mural on the east façade of the station’s building fell on three pedestrians.

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2019 00:44 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,Churchgate station,Bandra skywalk
Six aluminium panels on the east façade of Churchgate station fell on three pedestrians on Wednesday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

A 63-year-old man died and five others were injured in two separate rain-related accidents at Churchgate and Bandra on Wednesday. Strong winds and rainfall swept the city under the influence of Cyclone Vayu .

At Churchgate station, six aluminium panels that make up the Mahatma Gandhi mural on the east façade of the station’s building fell on three pedestrians around 12.20pm.

“While two of them sustained minor injuries, the senior citizen, Madhurkar Narvekar, was injured on his neck,” said a Western Railway (WR) official, who did not wish to be named. “He was rushed to GT Hospital but succumbed to his injuries within an hour,” the official said. Narvekar was on his way to work in Colaba.

In a similar incident in Bandra, three women were injured after four loose aluminium panels placed on the skywalk at SV Road fell on the road at 1.24 pm.

Malisa Najarat, 30; Sulakshana Vaze, 41; and Tejal Kadam, 27; were taken to the nearby Holy Family hospital and are reported to be stable. Heavy rains in Mumbai were caused by Cyclone Vayu – which was expected to pass around 250km off the city’s coast and head towards Gujarat.

The monsoon is yet to set in.

Officials said the strong winds caused the accidents, and have initiated action. “Winds in the city reached a maximum speed of 74-km per hour. The incidents could be likely because of that,” said an official from BMC’s disaster management cell.

“Today’s incident may be due to the strong winds and cyclone, but the bridge was always a threat. I had written to the MMRDA, H West Ward and municipal commissioner, and highlighted the poor condition of the bridge, but no ground work was initiated,” said Vinod Roshan D’Souza, a social activist from Bandra.

The WR has ordered an inquiry into the incident by senior safety officials, commercial officials and divisional engineers. “If the panels prove to be a threat to passengers’ safety, they will be removed,” said a senior WR official, who did not wish to be named. The panels were put up only seven years ago, in 2012. The WR has promised Narvekar’s family a compensation of ₹5 lakh.

A report by the H West (Bandra) ward, said, “Four loose aluminium composite panels of the skywalk fell. Following the incident, the private agency appointed by the bridges department started removing other loose panels.” The skywalk was constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and handed over to the BMC in 2017.

Trees, branches fall
There were 75 incidents of tree and branches falling in Mumbai, amid strong winds and rainfall on Wednesday. According to the disaster management cell of BMC, 24 of these were in the city, 15 from eastern suburbs and 36 from western suburbs. No injuries were reported. Meanwhile, four accidents of wall collapse were reported in the eastern suburbs.

First Published: Jun 13, 2019 00:44 IST