At least 26 workers killed when a railway bridge in India collapses under construction | International

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At least 26 workers have died and two others have been injured after the collapse this Wednesday of a railway bridge under construction in India, police said. The state railway authority has opened an investigation into the causes of the collapse. The accident occurred in the town of Sairang, in the northeastern state of Mizoram, as reported by its chief minister, Zoramthanga, through the X messaging platform, formerly known as Twitter. The minister also posted a video on his social network in which a metal structure could be seen that had detached from tall columns and had fallen into a wooded area. “I am deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy. I extend my deepest condolences to all the families affected and wish a speedy recovery to those injured," Zoramthanga said.

Local media have reported that up to 40 workers were on the scene when the bridge collapsed, but police only initially confirmed 26 dead and two others injured. “Rescue teams have been able to find 13 bodies so far. Efforts are being made to recover the remaining bodies," said a state police official, who declined to be named.

The railway company Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has reported in a statement through X, that the mishap occurred during the works of the project of the new Bhairbi-Sairang railway line. The NFR states on its website that the project will connect Mizoram with the rest of the country, boosting "tourism and socio-economic development." According to the NFR, a "high-level investigative committee" has been set up to investigate the facts.

For his part, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Johannesburg for the BRICS summit, has declared in a statement that "all possible help" is being provided to those affected.

Millions of people use India's extensive rail system every day. The government has launched high-speed trains as part of plans to modernize the network, but critics say it has not focused enough on safety and modernizing aging infrastructure. At least 288 people died in June in India's worst rail accident in more than two decades. The cause was a signaling failure. In October last year, a colonial-era suspension bridge collapsed in the western state of Gujarat; 135 people died.

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