A foot overbridge that collapsed near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CST) railway station in Mumbai on Thursday evening was in the news after the 26/11 terror attacks as it was used by terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan.
Over the years, it has been referred by many as ‘Kasab Bridge’.
On November 26, 2008, the two terrorists — armed with AK-47 rifles — had entered the passenger hall of the CST terminus and opened fire at people indiscriminately. They also threw grenades into the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring 104 others. It was while they were using the foot overbridge to reach the adjoining Cama Hospital that Mumbai photojournalist Sebastian D’Souza photographed Ajmal Kasab, which later helped in his conviction.
Six people died and at least 33 others were injured in Thursday’s collapse, which occurred in one of the busiest locations of the city during peak evening hours. Eyewitnesses said that the overbridge was being used by pedestrians although it was under repair earlier in the day.
The CST foot overbridge, built in 1984, was part of a safety audit ordered after a similar 40-year-old structure crumbled due to heavy rain in Andheri last year. A year before that, as many as 23 people were killed in a stampede after the Elphinstone Bridge at Prabhadevi station in central Mumbai collapsed.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. Over seven lakh passengers commute on nearly 2,500 trains every day on Mumbai’s rail network, making it the lifeline of the city.
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