Mumbai, Aug 8: The search operation to find bodies and remains of the vehicles following collapse of a bridge on Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mahad in Raigad district continued for the sixth day today in the turbulent Savitri river. 26 bodies have been recovered so far.
"We are not going to call off our operation and will continue to fish out the remains and bodies," Raigad's Residential Deputy Collector Satish Bagal said.
Yesterday, two more bodies were recovered during the search and rescue operation launched a day after two State Transport buses and some other vehicles fell into the swollen river after bridge collapse on the night of August 2.
"Now there are chances that the bodies which have not been recovered so far, might have got stuck in the washed away vehicles. When the personnel succeed in tracing those vehicles, the bodies would also be recovered," Bagal said. To a question, he said, "So far all the bodies recovered have been identified and handed over to relatives."
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Navy and Coast Guard officials have so far been able to locate only a signboard of one of the missing ST buses bearing the word 'reserved' on it.
NDRF's 5th battalion commandant Anupam Srivastava told PTI that they are using various advance techniques, including electronic sensors, fish finders (sonar devices), and massive magnets to trace the remains of the swept away vehicles.
"We have fitted six eco-sound sensors at the bottom of the boats which send acoustic sound waves down side the water and while it returns, it generates a picture of the surface on our hand held monitor," he said.
"We are using this technique in our search operation and hope to have a breakthrough very soon," Srivastava said, adding NDRF personnel have so far searched an area spanning 30 kms from the collapsed bridge.