Raigad (Maharashtra): Indian Navy divers on Saturday found the wreckage of the second MSRTC bus that had been washed away when a bridge across the Savitri river here collapsed on August 3, a defence spokesman said. The wreckage was found about 400 metres away from the bridge collapse site, five metres deep in the water where strong currents have been observed in the river.
The first piece of wreckage, said to be of the Rajapur-Borivali bus of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), was found on Thursday. The naval authorities have requisitioned a crane from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to fish out the wreckage found on Saturday, which is presumed to be of the Jaigad-Mumbai MSRTC bus, the spokesman said.
“It is assessed that the wreckage is recoverable. NDRF teams are being informed and a crane is being requested,” the spokesman said in a statement. In the past 10 days, naval divers have braved inclement weather, strong river currents and crocodiles in their continued search for the wreckage of the two MSRTC buses, he said.
The bridge collapse also resulted in four-five private vehicles being washed away in the heavy rain and floods, claiming an estimated 42 lives. Rescuers have managed to recover only 26 bodies so far; some were found 100 km from the accident site in the Arabian Sea, officials said.
The collapse of the 70-year-old British era bridge is one of the worst road tragedies in Maharashtra. The search has been carried out across land, river, creek and in the Arabian Sea by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, NDRF, Maharashtra Police and local fire-brigade, private adventure clubs and even fishermen.