NEW DELHI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua)— At least 22 people were feared missing and nearly a dozen vehicles were flown away with strong current of water, after a key highway bridge collapsed in Indian state of Maharashtra, officials said Wednesday.
The British-era bridge over Savitri River in Raigadh district, about 63 km south of Mumbai city, the capital of Maharashtra collapsed early Wednesday.
"Nearly a dozen vehicles, including two state transport buses plying over the bridge plunged into the river and were carried away with the water current here today," an official said. "It is believed that around 22 passengers were on board in the two buses. "
Officials, however, said the exact number of missing people was yet to be known.
"Of the missing vehicles, the two buses include — one travelling between Jaigad-Mumbai and another from Rajapur-Borivali, " the official said.
Authorities have launched rescue efforts to trace the missing. Reports said about 80 rescuers were present on the spot along with teams of disaster response force. Officials, however, said the heavy rain has hampered the rescue work.
The bridge connecting Mumbai to famous tourist resort of Goa crashed in River Savitri due to flood waters triggered by heavy monsoon rains.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured his administration would carry out rescue and relief operations. Officials have diverted traffic to the parallel bridge in the vicinity.
In March this year, a 60-metre portion of a flyover collapsed in Kolkata city of West Bengal, killing 25 and injuring scores of others.
Deadly accidents due to failing infrastructure is common in India.