Foot overbridge leading to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus collapsed in south Mumbai

India’s financial capital is living through yet another man-made trauma.

At least six people reportedly died and 36 were injured yesterday (March 14) in Mumbai when a foot overbridge near the city’s railway nerve centre, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), collapsed during the evening peak hour rush.

This is the third such incident in the past 18 months, which has claimed a total of 30 lives.

The CSMT bridge was, ironically, marked “safe” following a structural audit done late last year by a consultant appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the city’s civic body. The audit came in the aftermath of a September 2017 stampede at central Mumbai’s Prabhadevi (formerly Elphinstone) station bridge. A total of 296 bridges were inspected, 18 of which were deemed unfit and were to be demolished. The one at CST had passed the cut.

Barely six feet wide, the Prabhadevi structure was used by over 10 million people during peak hours everyday. Rumours of a short-circuit sparked panic among commuters and led to a stampede—a disaster many had warned of. The Indian Army was called in to construct a new foot overbridge at the station.

A few months later, in July 2018, a bridge near the Andheri railway station in the city’s western suburbs came tumbling down. Two people lost their lives, but a bigger crisis was averted as no trains were passing under it at that moment. The very next week, reports emerged of a bridge at a south Mumbai railway station developing cracks due to the rains.

In short, there’s been no dearth of red flags.