Second collapse of Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge stirs concerns over construction safety in Bihar, India

The Aguwani-Sultanganj Ganga bridge, which is under construction in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, has collapsed for the second time. The collapse occurred around 18:00 LT on June 4, 2023, and the incident was caught on video by locals and has since been shared across various networks​.

Four foundations and sub-structures of the bridge were entirely submerged in the Ganges, and the part of the bridge towards Khagaria was destroyed. No casualties have been reported​.

The bridge’s construction, started in 2016 by AP Singhla Company, has seen its deadline for completion changed six times. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid in 2014, and it was expected to be inaugurated later this year. As of now, 83.17 percent of the superstructure work and 45.10 percent of the approach road work has been completed​.

Before this incident, 36 slabs on both sides of the found numbers 4, 5, and 6 of the bridge, connecting North and South Bihar, had also collapsed. Notably, the 206-meter-long bridge had developed cracks before the recent collapse, specifically between pillars 2 and 3​.

In response to the incident, Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the collapse and requested to identify those responsible​​. The cause of the collapse is currently suspected to be a strong storm that weakened the bridge’s pilings.

Featured image credit: Geól. Sergio Almazán

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