Mumbai: A red signal at a traffic junction near a foot overbridge (FOB), a major part of which caved in here Thursday evening, proved lucky for a large number of motorists who were waiting for it to turn green.
Without the red signal, the motorists would have passed under the ill-fated bridge near the CSMT railway station, a global heritage site, when a part of it came crashing at around 7.30 pm.
The bridge connected the bustling Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station with the Azad Maidan Police Station.
An eyewitness, who was waiting at the signal, said, "We all were waiting impatiently at the signal as it was red. Before the signal turned green, the bridge came down along with people on it. Had the signal turned green earlier, the situation would have been worse."
"It is the time when entire Mumbai rushes to CSMT to return home. We also wanted to reach home early, but now I feel relieved that the signal was red. Otherwise, I could have been injured as well," he said.
A taxi driver, who was near the bridge when the tragedy struck, had a providential escape, though his vehicle suffered damage. Vehicles behind him stopped in time, thereby avoiding a bigger tragedy.
At least five persons were killed and over 30 injured in the overbridge collapse, officials said.
PM Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the incident. “Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected,” he tweeted.
Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the foot overbridge accident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wishing that the injured recover at the earliest. The Maharashtra Government is providing all possible assistance to those affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2019
All the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals, a disaster management cell official said. An eyewitness said when the bridge collapsed, there was a red light at the nearby signal, and that is why the death toll was not more. Another eyewitness said the overbridge was being used despite repairs being carried out this morning.