Varkala floating bridge accident: Case filed against private operator

Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas said stern action will be initiated against those responsible after considering the report submitted.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 11, 2024 | 9:47 AMUpdatedMar 11, 2024 | 3:29 PM

beach tourism kerala

The Kerala police, on Sunday, 10 March, registered a case against the private operator of the floating bridge at Varkala beach, which toppled after a huge wave hit it, injuring 13 persons including two children.

The incident occurred on Saturday.

Police have registered an FIR against the operators of the floating bridge, owned by Tiruchy-based Joy Water Sports, for allegedly operating without following safety protocols.

The FIR was registered under Sections 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.

Opposition questions LDF govt

Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas said stern action would be initiated against those responsible after considering the report submitted by the Tourism Director.

“We had earlier issued directions to remain cautious during harsh weather conditions. We will take action after considering the report of the Tourism Director,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress questioned the government over the alleged lapse of precautionary measures while operating the bridge.

Leader of the Opposition, VD Satheesan asked whether any studies were conducted before installing this 100-metre-long bridge into the sea.

The Varkala Municipality, meanwhile, said that the responsibility lies with the private agency running operations of the bridge.

Also Read: Floating bridge in Varkala hit by huge wave; 13 injured

The incident

On 9 March, an unfortunate scene unfolded at Papanasam Beach in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, where the recently-built floating bridge succumbed to the assault of a colossal wave, plunging several individuals into the sea.

A Varkala police station officer said, on Saturday, that all the victims were successfully rescued. However, 13 people, including two children, sustained injuries during the accident.

None of the injured are in critical condition. A 14-year-old girl, however, is under observation, he said. The injured are being treated at the Mission Hospital and the Government Medical College, the officer said.

“The incident occurred at around 5 pm. As per eyewitness accounts, several people fell into the water after a huge wave hit the bridge. Everyone was wearing a life jacket and that’s why there were no casualties reported,” an officer of the Varkala Police Station told reporters on Saturday.

The officers had said there was a high tide due to adverse weather conditions and the floating bridge does not usually remain open to the public in such situations. However, it was not closed on that day.

The FIR that was registered following the incident stated that there were around 20 tourists on the floating bridge at the time of the accident.

Also Read: Minister Mohamed Riyas inaugurates floating bridge

First floating bridge in Thiruvananthapuram 

Minister Riyas inaugurated the floating bridge and water sports activities at Papanasam Beach on 25 December, 2023. The first-ever floating bridge in Thiruvananthapuram, it is 100 metres in length and 3 metres wide, with pillars on both sides.

The bridge was set up by the Department of Tourism in association with the District Tourism Promotion Council, Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society, and Varkala municipality.

At the end of the bridge, there is a platform that is 11 meters in length and seven meters in width which enables visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the sea.

(With PTI inputs)

(Edited by Kamna Revanoor)