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News Goa bridge collapse toll rises to two, one missing (Lead)

Goa bridge collapse toll rises to two, one missing (Lead)

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Panaji, May 19 (IANS) Two persons were drowned and one reported missing after a dilapidated foot bridge collapsed into a river in south Goa, officials said on Friday.

“Two bodies have been recovered till 1 p.m. on Friday. Only one person is missing,” South Goa District Collector Swapnil Naik told IANS, nearly 18 hours after the mishap late on Thursday evening.

The body of Prakash Ekka, 28, from Jharkhand was taken out by divers early on Friday, taking the death toll to two.

The tragedy occurred as a crowd assembled on the decades-old bridge on the Sanvordem river in Curchorem village, 45 km from here, to watch an unidentified person attempt suicide.

This person is the one reported missing, Naik said.

Earlier on Friday, a National Disaster Relief Force team from Pune visited the spot to help in the search efforts.

The Indian Navy, whose divers are engaged in search-and-rescue operations, said the operation was resumed on Friday even as crocodiles in the Sanvordem river were creating a hindrance in the efforts.

“Crocodiles seen by locals. Separate patrolling and lookout for crocodiles instituted. Chetak helicopters in search and rescue role… to search downstream. Terrain hilly and clouded,” the Navy said.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said that 30-35 persons had been rescued or had managed to swim to safety from the spot.

–IANS
maya/tsb/bg

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