The death toll in the bridge collapse near Mahad on the Mumbai-Goa highway has risen to 14 even as 42 people still remain missing. Rescue operation is still underway and eight more bodies were recovered on Thursday.
"Fourteen bodies have been found today. Of them, three are of women and 11 of men. Most of the bodies were found within the periphery of 15 km (from the site of bridge collapse), while the farther limit where some bodies were found is 45 km... We have asked all villages located on the banks of the river to alert administration if they happen to spot anybody floating in river," Raigad district Residential Deputy Collector Satish Bagal told PTI.
However, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Assembly on Thursday evening that only eight bodies had been recovered. He added that the government would give Rs. 5 lakh in compensation to the next of kin of those who died in the Mahad bridge collapse. He had previously announced that the government would give either a job or Rs. 10 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased staff members of two state-run buses that were washed away in the Savitri river.
Fadnavis added that a Tavera and a Honda City car had also been washed away.
The deceased have been identified as Shrikant Kamble (53), driver of the Jaigad-Mumbai bus, and Prabhakar Baburao Shinde, bus conductor of the Rajapur-Borivali bus. Kamble's body was found at Anjarle in Ratnagiri district while Shinde's was found at Kemburli near Mahad, according to local media reports.
"The bodies of two women - Shevanti Mirgal and Sneha Baikar - who were travelling in Tavera car were recovered from Harihareshwar in Raigad district and at Rajewadi near Mahad respectively," Bagal said. He added that the body of the third woman, Ranjana Vaje, was recovered from Kemburli.
Around 160 NDRF jawans, 9 boats, 8 divers, 35 local swimmers and 60 rafter teams have been deployed for the search operation, according to the Times of India.
Meanwhile, the Met department has warned of heavy rainfall on Friday in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. The municipal corporations of the respective districts have been put on alert for the next 48 hours.
Corporations have been asked to deploy rescue teams at possible locations, especially in the foothills and the low-lying areas around Parsik and Belapur hills. The Thane Municipal Corporation is also working on an action plan to tackle any crisis due to rains.
Mayor Sanjay More and Civic Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal chaired a special meeting on Thursday that was attended by several corporators to tackle issues of inundation in the city due to rains.
President Pranab Mukherjee has offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.
"I am sad to learn about the accident in which some people were washed away when a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa Highway in Konkan region of Maharashtra collapsed due to heavy rains today. I understand that few bodies have been recovered and further search and rescue operations are currently underway," President Mukherjee said in his statement.