Panaji: At least two persons died and 30 went missing after a Portuguese-era bridge over Sanvordem river in south Goa collapsed this evening, the police said.
There were over 50 people standing on the dilapidated bridge when it caved in near Curchorem village. The people had gathered on the bridge to watch the rescue operation of a youth, who had jumped into the river to commit suicide, the police said.
“While the rescue teams have recovered two bodies from the river so far, at least 30 people are still missing. Some of those who fell into the river, managed to swim ashore," the police said.
The incident took place when a youth, who had jumped into the river to commit suicide was being rescued by the fire and emergency service personnel, a police official said.
“Around 50 people had gathered on the bridge to see the rescue operation. When the bridged caved in, all of them were flung into the river. However, some of them managed to swim to the shore," the official said.
The Indian Navy has been requested to assist in the rescue operations and the divers have rushed to the spot. The fire and emergency services has begun the search operation.
Meanwhile, Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar over the bridge collapse incident. “Spoke to Goa CM Shri @manoharparrikar regarding the bridge collapse on Sanvordem river. Search and rescue ops have been intensified," Singh tweeted.
Further details are awaited.