The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Friday said it has initiated an enquiry into Thursday night's mishap where two girders of an under-construction bridge on Eastern Freeway collapsed leading to the death of one person and injuring eight others.
"The MMRDA has initiated an enquiry to identify the cause of the accident and to fix the responsibility for the same," Joint Project Director (PR) Dilip Kawathkar said in a release.
A technical committee comprising independent experts will be appointed immediately to help in the enquiry, he said.
"Prima facie investigations have revealed structural failure of launching girder that led to this mishap as the segments of the span which were erected and being glued together fell down," Kawathkar said.
At least four vehicles including an oil furnace tanker and a concrete mixer were crushed under the slabs. The oil from the tanker leaked after the tanker broke open, and spilled on the entire stretch of road nearby.
The work on the 9.29 km four-lane elevated corridor, which will connect south Mumbai at Orange Gate to the eastern suburb at Anik, has been entrusted to Simplex Infrastructure and it is scheduled to be completed by December-end.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai police has also registered an FIR against the officials of the company.
"The officials of the contractor Simplex involved in the construction of the bridge have been booked for negligence resulting in the incident," Deputy Police Commissioner K G Patil said.
The company officials were booked under IPC sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 304A (causing death by negligence), 427 (mischief causing damage), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Meanwhile, Simplex in a statement issued on Friday said it has also initiated an investigation into the incident.
"This is a very unusual and most unfortunate incident. We have launched an investigation into the incident. Prima facie, the cause of the mishap seems to be some kind of mechanical failure of equipment engaged for erection. A team of experts in the field has been deputed to investigate an necessary action will be taken on the basis of their report," a company spokesperson said.
"We are taking all necessary steps to restore normalcy at the site and are getting full cooperation from all agencies in the clean-up operation. We hope to complete the same at the earliest," it said.