India bridge collapse: Nine bodies recovered

In this photograph released by The Indian Coastguard on August 3, 2016, Indian bystanders look at the wreckage of a partially collapsed bridge over the River Savitri in Raigad District some 100kms wouth of Mumbai Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bridge was built in the 1940s, authorities say

The bodies of nine people who died when a road bridge between Mumbai and Goa collapsed have been recovered from the flooded river below.

At least 38 people are now feared dead after two buses and a car fell into the Savitri river in Maharashtra.

More than 150 rescuers and divers have been searching for the victims.

Officials say the collapse late on Tuesday was likely caused by heavy rains and flooding which had thrashed the ageing bridge for days.

Senior local official Satish Bagal told the Press Trust of India the bodies of three women and six men had now been found.

Some were recovered up to 100km (62 miles) downstream from the place where the bridge collapsed.

"One of the victims has been indentified as a driver [of one of the buses], while another is a bus conductor."

Mr Bagal said two of the women had been identified as passengers who had been travelling in an SUV on the road.

Image copyright AP
Image caption More than 150 rescuers and divers have been searching for survivors

None of the vehicles have yet been recovered and efforts to find them are ongoing, said disaster management official Sagar Pathak.

Officials say bad weather has been hindering the search.

Safety issues such as lack of inspections and the use of substandard materials have plagued construction in India.

In March, a flyover being built in the city of Kolkata (Calcutta) collapsed, killing at least 20 people and injuring nearly 100.

And in 2011, some 32 people died and 132 were injured after a bridge collapsed at a political event in Darjeeling in West Bengal.

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