Monday, October 24, 2011


KILLS 34, INJURES 102 IN INDIA - At least 34 people have died and 102 injured after a bridge collapsed at a political event in India’s tea-producing region of Darjeeling.  More than 150 villagers were standing on the bridge for talks by local separatist leaders on Saturday night when it collapsed.  Officials say the victims fell at least 70ft (21m) into the fast-flowing Rangeet Khola River.  The army, fire brigade and police helped residents in the rescue effort.  Up to 60 people were rescued on Saturday night, but the search on Sunday was mainly focused on areas down river, reports say.  Rescue operations continued till late in the night on Saturday and on Sunday. District officials used sniffer dogs to look for missing people in the Rangeet River over which the bridge collapsed.  District officials said the old bridge could not take the weight of over hundred persons who were on it when it collapsed. A senior district official said the bridge was not meant to take the weight of more than 10-15 persons.

People had gathered in the village of Bijonbari, 30km (20miles) from Darjeeling, to listen to speeches by leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party.  “A cultural programme was being held on one side of the bridge, while a meeting was being held on the other,” GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said.  “Too many people were standing on it when it collapsed and they fell into the river below.”  At least six children are among the casualties.  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government would do “everything it can” to help the victims and their families.  The bridge was reportedly built in 1942, and is thought to have been weakened by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that shook north-eastern India, Nepal and Tibet in September.

A wooden bridge collapse in India’s tea-producing region of Darjeeling has left at least 34 people dead.  Another 102 people were injured.  The collapse took place Saturday, when a steel cable of the bridge snapped as crowds clamoured for a view of speeches and a cultural programme during the five-day festival in Bijanbari town.  It is said the bridge was weakened by the past September 18 earthquake.  Faced with this unexpected calamity, we should relieve people of their suffering by giving them spiritual knowledge so they can rise above the bodily platform. 
One thing for sure is that if you are here reading this, you are alive. And if you are alive, then you are here for a purpose. You are special. You are not an accident. You are a spiritual being in a material body. You are a product of God’s intention. You are a spiritual part of God and have every chance of regaining that awareness and realization. When we raise our awareness above the level of ordinary activities, free from mental and sensual influences, then we can get a glimpse of that reality which makes it clear that we are spiritual in nature, above all the mundane things that go on all around us. The reality is that you are actually connected directly to God, if you can only be aware of it.  Furthermore, as a spiritual being, you are always connected with God. That never changes. You only need to fully awaken this awareness to understand the comfort and loving exchange that is possible between you and God.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Thirty-one Days to Salvation on the Vedic Path”
“Day Five: Why this Knowledge is Given to You”  -

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