Tinsukia: Three persons have been reportedly missing after a Bailey suspension bridge over Siyom river connecting Pangin and Boyeng in Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang district collapsed on Tuesday morning.
The bridge collapse has hit all types of movement to Boleng and upper Siang district along the sensitive India-China border.
The development came a day after a portion of the Pasighat-Pangin and Aalo highway was washed away near Rotting village in Siang district due to heavy rainfall on Sunday morning, hampering travel to Upper Siang district and affecting movement of troops from Likabali and Rayang military station to Tuting sub-division and other forward areas along the international border in this axis.
Tuting, 35 km from the border with China, is the last sub-division on the Indian side located in Upper Siang district.
Confirming the incident, Siang SP Singjatla Singpho said that the bridge on the Siyom river collapsed at 8.30 on Tuesday morning cutting off connectivity to upper Pangin areas, Boleng, Riba and Upper Siang district.
“Three persons have bene reportedly missing after the vehicle caved in with the bridge,” Singpho said, adding “A search and rescue operation has been launched.”
According to sources in Arunachal Pradesh, the road journey to Boleng from Pangin, which used to take around 2 hours, will now become almost five-time longer as one will have to opt for an alternate route through Pasighat-Silapathar-Basar-Aalo. “However, there are reports of landslides at various locations on this alternative route making it inaccessible at this point of time.”
“Not just that, the bridge was a ‘significant’ link between the road heading to the China border carving through the hilly terrain of Upper Siang district, as army troops from Likabali and Rayang military station often use this route for movement to the border areas,” the source added.
“The motorable road connectivity to Pangin, the district headquarters of Siang district, has been completely cut off from rest of Arunachal Pradesh,” district information officer Shrikant Meena told EastMojo.
In April this year, a Bailey bridge — a ‘crucial link’ on NH-313 with strategic importance for movement of Army equipment and troops to forward areas along Indo-Sino border — over Dri River in the frontier state’s Dibang Valley district collapsed, cutting the last town near the sensitive Indo-Sino border, Anini, from the rest of the country.