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Darjeeling bridge collapse toll rises to 32

A scene at the North Bengal Medical College Hospital in Siliguri where the injured were brought after a bridge collapsed in Darjeeling late in the evening on October 22, 2011. At least 32 people were killed and more than 90 injured in the incident. UNI PHOTO
A scene at the North Bengal Medical College Hospital in Siliguri where the injured were brought after a bridge collapsed in Darjeeling late in the evening on October 22, 2011. At least 32 people were killed and more than 90 injured in the incident. UNI PHOTO

The death toll in last evening's bridge collapse in Darjeeling district of West Bengal rose to 32 today with people and rescuers looking for survivors at the site as many people were still missing, official sources said.

Inspector General of Police, North Bengal, Daniel Tsering Lepcha told UNI today that so far 32 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a wooden suspension bridge collapsed, hurling some 150 people nearly sixty feet down into the Rangit river at around 1830 hours last evening.

Bijanbari, which is connected to Chongtong, is some 40 kms south of Darjeeling town.

 

As many as 24 people had died yesterday, while eight had succumbed to their injuries today, official sources said.
 
Two people remained missing and 108 were injured in the incident, official sources said.
 
Mr Lepcha said those killed included 20 men and 12 women. He said 83 injured had been admitted to hospitals in Darjeeling and Bijanbari, 15 to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri and 10 others to different nursing homes in Siliguri.
 
The search operation aided by the army personnel had ended, sources said.
 
The accident occurred when the bridge, which was erected during the British era, suspended by steel cables over the Chota Rangit (small Rangit), gave in under pressure of the huge number of people who had gathered for an event on travel and tourism organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's youth wing.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is being continuously updated about the disaster, had asked North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb to rush to the spot. Mr Deb arrived here today from Kolkata and left for the site.

All top officials are at the site to oversee the rescue operation, sources added.

NNN

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