Bridge on NH-16 in Odisha’s Jajpur caves in; vehicular movement hit

Jajpur: A bridge on the National Highway-16 near Rasulpur in Jajpur district of Odisha caved in, disrupting vehicular movement today morning.

However, no casualty has been reported in the incident.

The cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained, but the locals put the blame on National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for sudden collapse of the bridge.

“At around 6 am today, we spotted a portion of the bridge on NH-16 near Rasulpur area caved in about 6-7 ft. Fortunately, there was no casualty as no vehicle was plying on the bridge at the time of the incident,” said Manoj Kumar Panda, a local and driver of a Kolkata-Bhubaneswar bus who rushed to the site on receiving information about collapse of the bridge.

The reason for which the bridge collapsed will come to fore following investigation. But the NHAI is primarily responsible for the incident, he added.

The bridge is constructed on the Kuakhia river on the highway connecting Chennai and Kolkata.

Traffic has been diverted to another bridge constructed on the side of the collapsed bridge to pass opposite direction vehicles.

Vehicles coming from both to-and-fro directions are passing through two single-line bridges, said a police official.

After getting information, senior NHAI officials reached at the spot and initiated an investigation.

As per preliminary probe, the portion of the bridge constructed in 2006-07 collapsed due to structural failure, said J.P. Verma, project director, NHAI.

An expert team has been asked to reach at the spot to ascertain the reasons behind the failure.

Action will be taken as per findings of the investigation, he said, adding: “We will find out a way to restore traffic on the bridge.”

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