Kottayam: A blade did what a blast could not! A diamond saw cutter sliced old Nagampadam Bridge like a knife through butter. Two cranes that could lift 305 tonnes lifted the pieces as if they were made of plaster of paris.
The diamond cutter first sliced the arch into four pieces and the cranes lifted them off. The bridge was then taken apart in six parts. The entire structure was then crushed into rubble.
The contract was undertaken by Kochi-based Pallasseri Earthworks.
An earlier attempt to implode the bridge through controlled explosion had failed.
Train services on the route were suspended from 1.30am on Saturday ahead of the slicing of the bridge. The arch on the right went first. Its pillars were then cut off. The first piece was removed at 9.20am using cranes. Some spectators atop the adjacent Nehru Stadium were seen applauding the act.
The rest of the arch came down by 12.50pm.
The rail tracks were covered with sand bags during the operation. Concrete slabs were placed over them to erect iron pillars that supported the bridge before demolition.
Railway authorities oversaw the dismantling.