The wreckage of buses, which went missing following the collapse of a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway in Maharashtra's city of Mahad on Aug 4, has been found by divers of the Indian Navy after eight days of search operations, Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjay Patil said on Thursday.
"One of the two buses missing after Mahad bridge collapse has been found," Patil was quoted by ANI as saying.
"After a long search for the last eight days, the Naval teams have located two bus wreckage submerged in water at Mahad. The two wreckage seem to be parts of buses and were found approximately 170 and 200 meters from the collapsed bridge," the agency quoted the Defence public relations officer as saying.
At least 14 people lost their lives, while 42 are still reportedly missing due to the bridge collapse. Several vehicles were washed away into the Savitri river. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, have been carrying out search and rescue operations for more than a week.
Around 28 Marine Commandos, the Indian Coast Guard's Chetak helicopters along with 25 personnel, Indian Air Force's Mi-17 helicopter and the Navy's Sea King 42C and 42B helicopters have been deployed to assist in the search and rescue operation. Nine boats, eight divers, 35 local swimmers and 60 rafter teams have also been deployed to assist the NDRF.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had declared Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of those who died due to the bridge collapse. The kin of the deceased staff members of two state-run buses that were washed away into the Savitri river would also be given either a job or Rs. 10 lakh compensation by the government.
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