Bridge collapse kills at least 22 workers in India’s Mizoram

More than 40 trapped under rubble of railway bridge

The railway bridge that has collapsed in Mizoram was under construction for several years, authorities said. Photo: Chief Minister of Mizoram
Powered by automated translation

At least 22 workers died and more than 40 were trapped after a railway bridge under construction collapsed in India's north-eastern state of Mizoram on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at Sairang, 15km north of the state capital Aizawl, at about 11am, the government said.

Police said the bridge was part of an Indian Railways project to connect all state capitals in the north-east region.

Sabyasachi De, chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railway, said the structure had been under construction “for some years now”.

“We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the accident and how many people actually were on it when it occurred,” he said.

At least four bodies are trapped under debris, India's NDTV reported. It is unclear how many missing workers, if any, are believed to be alive.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was “pained by the bridge mishap in Mizoram”.

“Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon. Rescue operations are under way and all possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he said.

The Prime Minister announced compensation of 200,000 rupees ($2,400) for the deceased and 50,000 rupees for the injured.

Zoramthanga, the Chief Minister of Mizoram who uses a single name, said efforts were continuing to find survivors.

“Rescue under progress. Deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy. I extend my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured,” his office wrote on X.

“Sending gratitude to the people who have come out in large numbers to help with rescue operations.”

The accident comes nearly three months after 288 people were killed when three trains crashed in India's Odisha state in May.

The crash, one of the worst train accidents in the country's history, also injured about 1,000 people and prompted calls from experts to improve rail safety.

Updated: August 23, 2023, 12:41 PM