HomeNewsDamanganga Bridge Had Crashed Just Two Months After Repairs | Surat

Damanganga Bridge Had Crashed Just Two Months After Repairs | Surat


SURAT: The tragedy at Morbi hanging bridge reminds people of the August 2003 Damanganga bridge collapse that had claimed 30 lives, including that of 28 school students.
The 300-metre-long bridge was constructed in 1987 and its 90-metre stretch collapsed in the afternoon of August 28, 2003. The deceased included 28 school students, a schoolteacher and a pedestrian. The river was around 40-foot deep at the spot where the vehicles with the victims fell.
The school students were in the age group of 10-15. They were in a van and autorickshaws and were returning home. The bridge had been closed for repairs in 2001 and Rs 2 crore was spent on the repairs. It was reopened in June 2003 and within months, the tragedy took place.
In February 2022, a court of chief judicial magistrate convicted three government officials of the public works department of the Union Territory of Daman for negligence. They were sentenced to two years of imprisonment and fined Rs 16,500.
A chargesheet was filed in the case on August 18, 2008, almost five years after the incident. The offence was registered at Nani Daman police station under Indian Penal Code 427 (damage to property), 337 (causing hurt), 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 304-A (causing death by negligence). The accused were also booked under the Public Property Damage Act.
A total of seven persons were booked and arrested by the police. Two officials (of the seven accused) died during the case proceedings. The court had earlier accepted the discharge applications of two other accused officials.
“Many like me lost family members in the incident. We recall the tragedy with tears even today,” said Dipesh Tandel, BJP president of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli . Tandel‘s 13-year-old brother-in-law, Akshay Ramji, was among the deceased.
Tandel was the president of the committee of victims’ family members that had approached the court for a quick trial. But the judgement was announced nearly 19 years after the tragedy.
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