Bridge in India broke just two days before opening

Part of a newly built bridge in the eastern Indian state of Bihar collapsed before it could be officially opened to the public.

A part of the bridge built over the Burhi Gandak river in the province’s Begusarai district snapped and fell into the water on Sunday morning. According to officials, a crack was detected in the 206-meter-long bridge, after which vehicles were forbidden to pass.

No one was killed or injured in the accident as no one was on the bridge at the time of the incident.

Construction of the bridge began in 2016 and was built under a state government plan at a cost of Rs 134 million (approximately £1.3 million).

Photos and videos on social media showed two large parts of the bridge floating on the river water.

The bridge, which is intended to be accessible between the two local areas, is estimated to help approximately 30,000 people easily access the national highway. Local residents are now reportedly required to take a boat trip or cover more than 20km in the next area.

The local government has ordered an investigation into the crash, after an investigation by a team of engineers from the state’s rural affairs department.

Begusarai district judge Roshan Kushwaha said the bridge was built by a local construction company and is often used by pedestrians. Small vehicles are also allowed to pass,” he said.

But he was also quoted as saying: Indian Express newspaper reported that the administration’s “worst fears came true when the bridge crashed into the river on Sunday.”

“Fortunately, no one was physically harmed when the large piece fell into the river,” he added.

The incident comes two months after one of India’s worst public safety tragedies, when a bridge collapse in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown of Gujarat killed at least 135 people.

The 223-metre-long and 1.25-metre-wide suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, collapsed days after reopening to the public after months of repairs.

But Bihar is no stranger to bridge collapses, with routine occurrences highlighting the poor quality of construction work.

In November, one day’s wage worker was killed and another seriously injured after a bridge under construction in the state’s Nalanda district collapsed.

In another incident in July, at least 10 workers were injured when a bridge under construction in Katihar district collapsed.

In the Gopalganj district, which was inaugurated by the state’s prime minister in July 2020, Nitish Kumar, part of a 9.1km-long bridge built in eight years fell less than a month later.

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