No help, no apology by the organisers.

People fall into Cooum as bridge collapses at Pinkathon Chennai marathon organizers in the dockFacebook/ Nithya Seetharaman
news Pinkathon Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 14:32

The annual Pinkathon held nationwise in major cities have lakhs of participants each year. But in Chennai this time, runners were greeted by a weak makeshift bridge.

The 10k run scheduled to start at 5:30am saw a huge crowd gathering at the entrance pathway leading to the run lineup. The pathway was a makeshift wooden bridge constructed over the Cooum river to lead participants into a huge stage.

“The crowd wasn’t moving, and suddenly we heard a huge noise. The bridge had collapsed into the Cooum and about a 100 people fell into the water. I got out since the water was about neck deep. But mobile phones were lost to the collapse,” says Nithya

After the bridge collapsed, organisers continued their security checks at the entrance which led to people crowding. 

No sanitisers or help to clean up or new t-shirts were provided readily. No organisers came forward to apologise or help, according to those present at the spot.

No announcements were made despite Milind Soman reaching the collapse spot. “I was provided a shirt after making a fuss about how poorly they reacted to the incident.

They told me that the capacity of the bridge was tested with trucks the day before.

I was appalled to see how they quickly hushed up and closed-up that entire entrance with a screen as though it never existed,” said Nithya Seetharaman, a participant.

“Considering that this was an all woman marathon and disabled people were participating too, there was complete lack of sensitivity and nobody bothered to come forward,” a person present at the marathon said.

TNM could not reach organisers for comment, but an ambassador for the Pinkathon called it a "minor" incident and said the bridge could not take 150 people, however "the water was shallow." No apology was offered.

 

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