‘Thought It Was A Blast’: Locals Demand Probe Into Aguwani-Sultanganj Bridge Collapse In Bihar

After the collapse of the under-construction Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, people around the area on Monday said that it felt like a major bomb blast when the bridge collapsed into the river at around 6 pm the previous day. This is also the second time the bridge has collapsed into the river. Rakesh Kumar who was an eyewitness of the Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge collapse while speaking to ANI said that there was so much chaos that they thought it was a bomb blast. He said that this is the second time the bridge has collapsed but no one has investigated the reason behind it, demanding a proper investigation.

“This is the second time the bridge has collapsed but no one has investigated the reason behind it. This shows the corruption in the government. there should be a probe,” he said.

When asked if the bridge would be completed any time soon, the man told ANI, that the completion of the bridge will likely cross 2030.

Another eyewitness, Pramod Kumar, while speaking to ANI, said that the noise was very loud and could be heard from a distance. When asked about the work going on for the past 8 years, he said, “We don’t know what kind of material they are using for this bridge, the bridge has collapsed twice. Is it for the public or insects?”

Meanwhile, Sub-Inspector of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) Birendra Kumar told ANI that they reached the area right after the collapse and investigated if anybody was injured or stuck in the debris. He said that they followed up again in the morning with 2 SDRF boats on each side, which is inspecting the area to make sure there are no casualties as a result of the collapse.

No casualties or injuries were reported in the incident that took place in the evening and was caught on camera by some bystanders, he said.

“Nobody has been injured or stuck in the area of the bridge, when we asked the locals around who were present during the collapse they said no worker was present on the bridge and no one was on the bridge at the time of the collapse”.

He added that no authority responsible for the bridge has reached the area with whom the SDRF can discuss the situation.

Meanwhile, the state government officials claimed that portions of the bridge were deliberately destroyed in a planned fashion under expert advice as it had design flaws.

The bridge was supposed to connect Khagaria district with Bhagalpur. The bridge was being constructed at a cost of more than Rs 1, 700 crore and it was supposed to have been completed by November 2019.

The incident comes as the Chief Minister of Bihar and leader of JD(U), Nitish Kumar, has proactively engaged in conversations with various regional leaders, including the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and the Left, with the intention of forming a united front among opposition parties to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024. A meeting was to take place on June 12 but had to be postponed due to the unavailability of several leaders including Rahul Gandhi.