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[Published: Tuesday July 03 2018]

 Mumbai rail bridge collapse strands thousands

MUMBAI, India 3 Jul (ANA) - A railway bridge collapse due to heavy monsoon rains in India's financial capital Mumbai has stranded thousands of commuters in the city.

The collapse at Andheri station - one of the busiest of the city's western railway line - has also injured five people who have been sent to hospital.

Services on the western line have been partially disrupted with railway stations getting increasingly crowded.

Police have arrived at the scene and repair work has begun.

BBC Marathi's Janhavee Moole, who is at the scene, said the disruption to the rail service has caused severe congestion on the roads.

Chandrashekhar Sawant, a train driver who had been pulling into Andheri station in the morning, told BBC Marathi that he saw the bridge collapse at around 07:30 local time (0200 GMT). He had immediately pulled the emergency brake, prompting the train to grind to a halt just 200ft away from the wreckage.

Officials say his quick action potentially saved many lives.

Officials from India's National Disaster Response Force have arrived at the site and are monitoring the situation.

Local trains are the transport lifeline for Mumbai's residents. With a population of 22 million, it is the world's fourth most populated city.

The city is no stranger to monsoon chaos and the city's largely creaky infrastructure is often heavily tested during this time of year.

Last year, a stampede on a footbridge at the city's Elphinstone station amid heavy rains left 22 people dead and injured more than 30.

Rains also caused severe flooding, stranding tens of thousands of residents as roads literally turned into rivers. A few days later, a residential building collapsed, killing more than 30 people. Heavy rains killed a further 20.

Mumbai's train system, according to a 2010 estimate by the World Bank, suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world, carrying 4,500 passengers in trains with a rated capacity of just 1,700. (ANA)
FA/ANA/3 July 2018--------

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