Goa bridge collapse toll rises to two

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Panaji, May 19 (IANS) Two persons drowned after a dilapidated foot-bridge collapsed into a river in south Goa late on Thursday, officials said on Friday.

The Navy, whose divers are engaged in rescue operations, said the search was resumed on Friday even as crocodiles in the Sanvordem river are said to be creating a potential hindrance in the rescue efforts.

“Crocodiles seen by locals. Separate patrolling and lookout for crocodiles instituted. Chetak helicopters in search and rescue role … to search downstream. Terrain hilly and clouded,” the Navy said.

District officials told reporters here that the body of Prakash Ekka, 28, from Jharkhand was taken out by divers early on Friday, taking the body count to two.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday had said that 30-35 persons had been rescued or had managed to swim to safety from the crash site on Thursday evening in Curchorem village, 45 km from here.

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There is no official estimate of how many are missing.

The tragedy occurred after a crowd had assembled on the several decade-old bridge to watch an unidentified person attempt a suicide late on Thursday.

South Goa Superintendent of Police S. Prabhudessai said multiple agencies including divers from the Navy, Coast Guard and a private lifeguard agency were trying to locate the missing persons in the river.

“We are trying to establish how many people are missing by interviewing witnesses,” Prabhudessai said.



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