Mumbai, Aug 3 : With the collapse of a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa Highway in Raigadh district, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday asserted that desperate attempts were being made to locate the two buses which went missing in the Savitri river.
Speaking to ANI here, Fadnavis said that there was heavy rains in the catchment areas of Mahabaleshwar, which led to high pressure flooding on the river Savitri and the bride which was made during the British era collapsed.
"In a very unfortunate incident at Mahad in Raigadh district on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway yesterday, a bridge was washed out.
In fact, there were two parallel bridges - one new and one old. Single lane traffic was used on the old bridge, which was constructed in the British era, collapsed due to heavy water pressure," he said.
Confirming that two state transport buses are missing, the Chief Minister said they were carrying 22 passengers in total, adding an assessment is being made on rest of the damages.
"The NDRF teams have reached and they are trying their level best to ensure relief and rehabilitation and a massive search is underway.
A desperate attempt has been made to locate the buses that have gone into the river," Fadnavis said. Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Fadnavis and assured him full support and assistance from the Centre.
"Hon PM @narendramodi spoke to Maharashtra CM @Dev_Fadnavis (and) took all details of the Mahad incident.
PM @narendramodi offered all help in rescue and relief operations. NDRF teams are already activated," CMO Maharashtra said in a series of tweets. Meanwhile, the NDRF team from Pune is at the site of the tragedy along with the Coast Guard, rowing boats, inflatable rafts, choppers and all equipments.
Heavy rains are causing a hurdle in the rescue operation. Two buses of state transport with 18 passengers, two drivers and two conductors are missing in the tragedy that struck on Tuesday night.
The traffic on the Mumbai-Goa highway was stopped after the age-old bridge collapsed over Savitri River.
Nearly a dozen vehicles, including two State Transport buses travelling over the bridge, are feared to have flown away with the water current.
There are no reports on the whereabouts of the 22 people missing from the two buses. The buses include one travelling between Jaigad-Mumbai and another Rajapur-Borivali. District Collector Sheetal Ugale-Teli and Police Superintendent Suvez Haque are present at the venue Fadnavis earlier ordered speedy operations and said in a tweet that the Collector has confirmed that one way traffic is now resumed on the new bridge, parallel to the old bridge.