NEW DELHI: The busy Kolaghat bridge over the Ramganga river in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district collapsed early on Monday, breaking into three parts.
The 1,800m-long bridge that connects Shahjahanpur with Budaun and Bulandshahr was built in 2011 and its foundation was laid in 1992.
The incident occurred at about 3 AM and a major accident was averted as there was very little traffic on the route at that time except for a minivan crossing over the bridge with five men on board that had a narrow escape.
Describing the horror, Mohammed Mujeeb, the van's driver, said, "We started from Prayagraj and were on our way to Modinagar in Ghaziabad on Sunday night. At around 3 am, we were crossing Ramganga river when we heard a loud noise and our vehicle all of a sudden began to slope downwards. I somehow managed to hit the brakes on time."
"We realised much later that the bridge had broken into three parts and our vehicle was trapped in the middle. We called the police for help. I decided to stay back while others left in another vehicle for some urgent work", Mohammed Mujeeb while speaking to TOI.
Meanwhile, District magistrate Indra Vikram Singh said, "Action will be taken against those found guilty following a thorough probe. We'll repair the bridge within a month."
Currently, the traffic has been diverted via NH 24 and Mirzapur, and locals will now need to travel an additional 60 km until the bridge is repaired and becomes functional.