Imphal: A truck driver has died when the loaded truck he was driving fell into Imphal river as the bailey bridge connecting Thoubal district and Imphal West district at Mutum Phibou collapsed on Sunday morning.

The bridge might have had technical defects, according to Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development minister Y. Khemchandwho visited the site along with local MLA Khuraijam Loken.

The minister called for an enquiry report over the bridge collapse within three days and said sringent action would be taken if anyone is found guilty.

He said the authorities would start reconstruction work on the bridge.

The driver was identified as Md Borjao, 45, son of the late Md Ibocha, resident of Mayang Imphal Bengoon Yangbi, Imphal West.

When the truck fell, three laboures in the truck managed to jump out. However, the driver remained trapped inside.

The three laborers have been identified as Makakmayum Amir, 28, son of Md Nasirudin of Mayang Imphal Bengoon, Leirak Achouba, Imphal West; Tarif Hussain, 21, and Md Ashif Hussain, 18, both sons of the late Md Aktar of Mayang Imphal Bengoon, Imphal West.

He expressed his condolence on the dead of the driver.

Local residents told reporters that they had advised the truck driver not to cross the bailey bridge. The driver saying that the load was only about 11-12 tons attempted to cross the bridge.

A rescue operation by Wangoi police station, State Disaster Response Force and the Manipur Fire Service team recovered the driver’s body.

The truck was found loaded with firewood and lumber.

The bailey bridge reportedly collapsed twice before. No casualties were reported in those incidents.

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