As the search operations to locate those missing in the Curchorem bridge tragedy comes to a close, the real picture of what has happened has begun to emerge.
The final tally remains at three, including the person who initially committed suicide, while the search has been called off as all people are believed to have been accounted for. This in itself is commendable and can only be a testament to the quick thinking and effort of the emergency services teams, which were already on the spot in response to the initial suicide report.
Videos emerging from the scene have shown that the team on the dinghy saved a maximum number of people in the initial minutes of the bridge collapse, which went a long way in reducing the total body count from the tragedy.
In any tragedy of such nature, it is the response in the initial minutes that makes the most difference, and in this case, it was fortunate that rescue teams were already on the scene.
That being said, the question must now be asked is: why the bridge was being used despite it being unsafe? While the authorities have claimed that the bridge was shut for public use and was barricaded, the fact remains that it continued to be used as a footbridge for locals of the region, and the barricades, is any, were easily surmountable.
Goa is no stranger to tragedy, with the Calvim bus incident being only a fresh memory. While it is debatable whether the disaster response could have been any better, responsibility for the incident does not and should not end there.
It would be easy to dismiss this incident as one in which the curious onlookers paid the price for overcrowding a shaky bridge to witness the recovery of the body of a suicide
To get to the bottom of the matter, it is important that the state government initiates a judicial inquiry into the incident, to ascertain the facts surrounding the case as well as to affix responsibility for the tragedy.