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Search launched: Two buses with 22 persons missing in Maharashtra

Two buses with about 22 passengers were washed away early on Wednesday in flood waters after a bridge collapse on the Mumbai-Goa Highway

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Mumbai-Goa highway bridge collapse: Two buses with 22 persons missing. Image source: www.ibtimes.co.in

Two buses with about 22 passengers were washed away early on Wednesday, August 3, in flood waters after a bridge collapse on the Mumbai-GoaHighway, an official said.

The state government, National Disaster Response Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) launched a massive air and sea operation to trace the two MaharashtraState Road Transport Corporation buses and other five to six missing vehicles which were feared to have been washed away by the floods in the Arabian Sea in the coastal Konkan region.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, ministers and Raigad collector Sheetal Ugale were monitoring the situation, the official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Fadnavis and offered help in the rescue operations.

The ICG deployed a Chetak and SeaKing helicopters to search the buses. An NDRF team was on the way from Pune while the police and naval divers have launched a sea search.

Of the two ill-fated buses, the Jaigad-Mumbaiservice was driven by S. S. Kamble and conducted by V. K. Desai while the Rajapur-Borivali (north Mumbai) service was driven by E. S. Munde and conducted by P. B. Shirke, all based with the Chiplun Bus Depot in Ratnagiri.

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The tragedy struck after heavy rains flooded the Savitri River which originates in Mahabaleshwar and flows through Ratnagiri-Raigad districts, leading to the collapse of a seven-decades-old British era bridge near Mahad around 1 a.m.

Image by thehindu.com
Image by thehindu.com

The buses with 11 passengers each went missing and there was no contact with either their drivers or the passengers, Raigad Collector Sheetal Ugale said.

Locals said that around five to six private vehicles were also missing and they were feared to be washed away in the floods.

“The bridge was built during the British era. After discussion with the National Highways Authority, we have shifted traffic to the new parallel bridge nearby. We are trying to confirm reports of other missing vehicles,” Ugale said.

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Rehabilitation Minister Chandrakant Patil said helicopters would be deployed and the help of defence forces was being taken to search the missing vehicles.

Incessant rains continue to lash the coastal Konkan, northern and western Maharashtra since past five days, with at least 10 persons losing their lives in rain-related incidents in the past 24 hours. (IANS)

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Living Near a Major Road or Highway Can Cause Neurological Diseases

The researchers suggest that this protective effect could be due to several factors

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Research found that living less than 50 metres from a major road or less than 150 metres from a highway is associated with a higher risk of developing neurological disorders -- likely due to increased exposure to air pollution. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that living near a major road or highway is linked to higher incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).

For the findings, published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers from the University of British Columbia analysed data for 678,000 adults in Metro Vancouver.

They found that living less than 50 metres from a major road or less than 150 metres from a highway is associated with a higher risk of developing neurological disorders — likely due to increased exposure to air pollution.

“For the first time, we have confirmed a link between air pollution and traffic proximity with a higher risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS at the population level,” said study lead author Weiran Yuchi from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Neurological disorders, a term that describes a range of disorders, are increasingly recognised as one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide.

Little is known about the risk factors associated with neurological disorders, the majority of which are incurable and typically worsen over time.

For the study, researchers analysed data for 678,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 84 who lived in Metro Vancouver from 1994 to 1998 and during a follow-up period from 1999 to 2003.

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Researchers have revealed that living near a major road or highway is linked to higher incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS). Pixabay

They estimated individual exposures to road proximity, air pollution, noise and greenness at each person’s residence using postal code data.

During the follow-up period, the researchers identified 13,170 cases of non-Alzheimer’s dementia, 4,201 cases of Parkinson’s disease, 1,277 cases of Alzheimer’s disease and 658 cases of MS.

For non-Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease specifically, living near major roads or a highway was associated with 14 per cent and seven per cent increased risk of both conditions, respectively.

When the researchers accounted for green space, they found the effect of air pollution on the neurological disorders was mitigated.

The researchers suggest that this protective effect could be due to several factors.

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A Study estimated individual exposures to road and Highway proximity, air pollution, noise and greenness at each person’s residence using postal code data. Pixabay

“For people who are exposed to a higher level of green space, they are more likely to be physically active and may also have more social interactions,” said study senior author Michael Brauer.

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“There may even be benefits from just the visual aspects of vegetation,” Brauer added. (IANS)