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Bus wreckage of Maharashtra bridge tragedy found

A week after intensive search operations began to retrieve missing persons and trace the vehicles that disappeared after the collapse of a colonial-era bridge in Mahad, naval teams on Thursday morning recovered part of a debris said to belong to one of the State transport buses that fell into the Savitri river.

The two pieces, said to be the chassis and the roof of one of the buses, was found around 200 metres from the spot where the bridge ruptured, said Commander Rahul Sinha, spokesman, Western Naval Command.

“Our naval teams, comprising of specialist divers, have been scouring the area since the last eight days, assiduously hunting for wreckage and bodies of victims in 12-hour –a-day operations,” said Mr. Sinha, adding that spot diving was carried out despite the spectre of crocodiles and severely inclement weather with search teams negotiating the angry, swirling currents of the River Savitri.

Despite a number of false alarms of the retrieval of wreckage, this is the first confirmed instance where the body parts of the missing vehicles were salvaged. The last two days were disappointing for combing teams, who failed to recover either bodies of victims or parts of the missing vehicles.

The combing operations, the biggest in scale in the Konkan region in recent times, is a joint effort of the jawans from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard who are greatly aided by the local expertise of the fishermen who often accompany search teams in their boats.

The rescue teams are leaving no stone unturned to trace remaining 16 bodies and the wreckage of the vehicles, deploying cutting-edge technology like eco-sound sensor cameras and fish finders deploying SONAR technology to achieve their objective.

Twentysix bodies have been retrieved since combing operations commenced Wednesday last week. By the Maharashtra government’s own admission, a total of 42 persons are missing in the bridge collapse tragedy.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 6:25:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Bus-wreckage-of-Maharashtra-bridge-tragedy-found/article14564177.ece

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