Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wooden footbridge collapse toll in Darjeeling rises to 31


Darjeeling: With seven more persons dying, the toll in the wooden footbridge collapse over Little Ranget at Bijanbari in Darjeeling district rose to 31 on Sunday.

The old wooden footbridge over a spring gave way under pressure of a crowd during a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) meeting nearby at Bijanbari yesterday.

Chief Medical Officer Health (CMOH) of Darjeeling Subir Bhowmick said seven more persons have died and the toll has risen to 31.

The CMOH said over 60 people were injured and the seriously injured persons have been admitted to North Bengal Medical College Hospital at Siliguri and at Darjeeling Hospital.

The bridge, which had been weakened by the September 18 earthquake, gave way when a large number of people gathered on it for the GJM meeting.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would visit Darjeeling today along with Railway Minster Dinesh Trivedi and Union Minister of State for Health Sudip Bandopadhyay.

Darjeeling district administration sources said the rescue operation was being conducted by the personnel of the fire brigade, police and the disaster management department.

The army has also been requested to send a team to help in the rescue operation.

An army spokesman said a 40-member team of the Mountain Brigade along with a medical team was on its way to Bijanbari at the request of the district administration.

North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb yesterday reached the spot and monitored and supervised the rescue operations.

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