Over 26 lives were lost in an incident as a railway bridge construction over a ravine collapsed in Mizoram on Wednesday, officials reported. The catastrophic event took place in Sairang, situated about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, which rests in the easternmost part of India, bordering Myanmar.
State Transport Minister T J Lalnuntluanga, who was present at the site, confirmed that 18 bodies have been recovered, and an additional eight have been located within the wreckage and are in the process of being extricated by rescue teams. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) issued a statement on platform X, disclosing that the tragic incident took place during the construction of the Bhairbi-Sairang New Line Railway Project.
The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted, “Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being given to those affected. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured,” he tweeted.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga acknowledged the substantial community response to the disaster, stating that people came out in large numbers to help with rescue. Local villagers residing near the construction site rushed to assist the injured laborers, transporting them to medical facilities, as reported by the police.
The National Disaster Response Force, a government-operated rescue unit, promptly arrived at the scene to conduct search and rescue operations in hopes of finding survivors.
The NFR also noted on its official website that this project holds the promise of connecting Mizoram with the broader nation, thereby fostering tourism and socio-economic development. In response to the catastrophe, a high-level enquiry committee has been established to investigate the causes behind the collapse, as announced by the NFR.
Amid the grim aftermath, Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw also tweeted his condolences alongwith details of the ex-gratia compensation to be provided: “₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2 Lakh towards grievous injuries, and ₹50,000 for minor injuries.”