At least two persons drowned and 20 others are missing as two buses swept away in swollen Savitri River after a British-era bridge collapsed on the Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad in Maharashtra's Raigad district late Tuesday night.
Rescuers fished out bodies of two men from the river and an intense search is on to trace those missing, Raigad district collector Sheetal Ugale said at the mishap spot, 170 Km from Mumbai.
Teams of disaster management force has joined the Coast Guard and other agencies engaged in rescue and relief operations.
Live Mumbai-Goa highway bridge collapse updates:
# Centre stands with Maharashtra Govt in this hour of crisis and assures all possible help: Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha.
# 4 NDRF teams comprising 115 personnel including divers along with 12 boats were immediately rushed to the bridge collapse site: Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha
# 2 bodies have been recovered so far: said Raigad district collector, Sheetal Ugale.
# 1 Sea king 42B helicopter on another mission was diverted to the area for search operations.
# 1 Sea king 42C all weather aircraft with diving team launched by Indian Navy.
As of now we have reports of 2 state transport buses missing with 22 people onboard-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/ozFGSubsY7— ANI (@ANI_news) August 3, 2016
# NDRF teams have reached and carrying out search operations, massive search going on: Maharashtra CM on Mumbai-Goa highway bridge collapse.
# High pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri due to heavy rains in catchment of Mahabaleshwar led to bridge collapse: Maharashtra CM.
Two buses of state transport with 18 passengers, two drivers and two conductors have gone missing in the Mahad tragedy, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said in a tweet today.
"Two buses are missing and a few other vehicles are feared to have been swept away," Raigad District collector Sheetal Ugale said on Wednesday.
Fadnavis, who is monitoring the situation closely since morning said, "There were two parallel bridges; one is a new bridge and one constructed during the British era. The old one collapsed."
The primary reason seems to be the high pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri due to heavy rains in catchment of Mahabaleshwar, he said.
"Spoke to Raigad SP and Collector about bridge collapse on Mumbai-Goa Highway. Administration has rushed to spot for rescue and immediate measures," Fadnavis said.
"Traffic on highway is stopped. Administration is ascertaining strength and stability of new bridge," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Fadnavis on Wednesday and was briefed about the bridge collapse.
"The PM offered all help in rescue and relief operations," Fadnavis said.
NDRF teams are already activated, he tweeted.
The Coast Guard has deployed a Chetak helicopter to carry out search for people who were swept away from the bridge.
Raigad SP Suvez Haque and Collector visited the spot where the bridge once stood.
Darkness had hampered operations, which resumed this morning.
Soon after the incident, Raigad SP Suvez Haque and Collector visited the spot where the bridge once stood.
Darkness had hampered operations, which resumed Wednesday morning.