Number of missing rises as authorities confirm more cars fell into the river
300 kilogram magnet is being used to search for missing vehicles
Fourteen bodies have been recovered after a bridge on a highway connecting the city of Mumbai to the state of Goa collapsed Wednesday, sending vehicles tumbling into floodwaters below.
The number of missing has risen to 28, Sushma Satpute, the sub-divisional magistrate of Raigad district said Friday, as multiple private cars were confirmed to have fallen into the swollen Savitri River along with two buses.
Initially, authorities reported that two state passenger buses carrying 22 people were involved in the collapse.
Officials are using a 300 kilogram (661 pound) magnet to trace the missing vehicles, Satpute added, joining boats and divers with the search.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra state Devandra Fadnavis said 50,000 rupees (about $7,483) would be given to victims’ families.
Probe into bridge condition
A judicial inquiry has also been launched into this incident, with a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai already assembled, Fadnavis tweeted.
Repairs of the bridge would be immediately undertaken to be completed before August 25.
High pressure from the flooding of the Savitri River caused the collapse, Fadnavis previously stated. The single-lane bridge was built in British-era colonial times.
India has been hit by severe flooding in recent days, which has killed at least 163 people and affected as many as 7.78 million, according to the National Disaster Response Force.