Bridge collapse leaves 40 residents stranded in their homes

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The bridge that collapsed at St John’s Branch Trace in Avocat on July 10. – Photo courtesy Dr Lackram Bodoe

AT LEAST seven families are now stranded in their homes in Fyzabad after a dilapidated bridge collapsed on July 10.

The bridge collapsed at St John’s Branch Trace in Avocat near the floodgates, inconveniencing about 40 residents.

A statement from Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe on July 10 called for the incident to be treated as a disaster and for a temporary Bailey bridge to be installed to bring urgent relief for the affected residents, pending a more permanent solution.

“I am also calling for the removal of the collapsed bridge and clearing of the water course to prevent another disaster in the form of flooding when the rains come,” Bodoe said.

“The water connection broke with the collapsed bridge, and I am asking WASA to also intervene urgently to restore the water supply.”

The opposition MP said an ill villager could not seek medical attention, as the bridge was now impassable to vehicles.

“This has occurred despite numerous representations to the authorities to correct the situation before it became a disaster,” Bodoe said.

“A temporary crossing measure was put in place by way of a boat volunteered by a villager.”

Bodoe also called on the residents to exercise all safety precautions during this disaster and remain thankful that no lives were lost.

Councillor for the area Doodnath Mayrhoo, who is also the mayor of the Siparia Borough Corporation, and members of the corporation’s disaster management unit also visited the area.

Workers cleaned the riverbank for safer access.

Mayrhoo said the bridge collapse caused mounting fear, and accused the government of neglect.

He also took to Facebook, saying, “This situation has intensified frustration and desperation within St John Village, as residents find themselves stranded and unable to access their homes.”

“I am calling for immediate and swift intervention from the Ministry of Works and Transport and Minister Rohan Sinanan to restore vital access for all affected residents. The residents of St John Village can no longer wait. Their safety, well-being and ability to carry out daily activities are at stake.”