Flyover Collapse Claims 14 In India | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Flyover Collapse Claims 14 In India

Posted: Mar 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


At least 14 people have been killed and 150 are feared trapped after a partially built flyover collapsed in the Indian city of Kolkata, according to police Thursday morning.

Witnesses say rescuers are using their bare hands to try to save those caught under the rubble.

Television footage shows people passing water bottles through to those who are crying out for help from beneath the debris.

One witness has told the New Delhi Television news channel (NDTV): “We heard a loud rumble and then saw a lot of dust in the sky.”

Another added: “The area was very, very crowded. Motorised rickshaws, taxis, there was a lot of traffic.”

Vehicles are seen trapped under a flyover which collapsed in Kolkata

Several vehicles remain trapped

Large concrete slabs from the construction site fell onto traffic below, reports said.

Heavy duty cranes have apparently been brought in to move the wreckage, but attempts have so far been unsuccessful.

Senior police officer Akhilesh Chaturvedi said 15 critically injured people had been rescued.

“Most were bleeding profusely. The problem is that nobody is able to drive an ambulance to the spot,” he added.

A general view of the collapsed flyover in Kolkata

Heavy cranes have so far been unable to move the large concrete slabs

Some witnesses have been critical of the initial response, with one saying there appears to be very little co-ordination on the ground.

Army officers and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been called in to help.

An NDRF official said: “Our team is on their way to the site with all required equipment, we are also pressing into service canines which will help find trapped people.

“We will start the operations as soon as possible.”

Construction of the 2km (1.2 mile) flyover was supposed to be completed three years ago, but it has been delayed several times.

A general view of the collapsed flyover in KolkataA general view of the collapsed flyover in Kolkata

The construction site is in a densely populated area of Kolkata.

The region’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who is seeking re-election next month, is already facing tough questions over who is responsible for the tragedy.

A newspaper reported last year that she wanted the project finished by February, but project engineers expressed concern over whether this would be possible.

Building collapses are common in India, partly because of the poor enforcement of regulations and the use substandard materials.