Death toll in flyover collapse rises to 24; officials detained


Kolkata, Apr 1: Three more bodies were recovered from under the debris of the flyover that collapsed on to vehicles and street vendors here, taking the toll to 24 even as five officials of the firm that was building the structure have been detained. Around 90 people were injured in the collapse and the condition of seven of them was stated to be “very critical”.

Armymen along with Kolkata Police, disaster management team, NDRF and fire brigade personnel engaged in rescue work throughout the night, pulled out three more bodies from underneath the rubble of concrete, a police officer said on Thursday. The number of people injured in the mishap, he said, was close to 90.

“Nobody alive has been recovered… Two mangled autorickshaws apart from a few other vehicles have been pulled out. One lorry is still stuck inside… Whether there is anybody trapped inside cannot be said,” he said.

About 60-metre-long portion of the under-construction flyover collapsed yesterday afternoon on a congested road intersection here.  Five officials of the Hyderabad-based construction company IVRCL have been detained, Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said.

“We have detained a few officials of the construction company. We are taking action against them,” he said. Kolkata Police had yesterday registered a case against the Hyderabad-based construction firm under sections 304, 308 and 407 of the IPC and sealed the local office of company engaged in the flyover’s construction.

“It is nothing but God’s act,” claimed Panduranga Rao of the IVRCL Construction company engaged in the flyover’s construction. The West Bengal government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident that triggered a blame game with the opposition accusing the Mamata Banerjee  government of callousness. Meanwhile, a four-member police team from West Bengal Friday arrived in Hyderabad as part of its probe to question officials of IVRCL after the flyover it was constructing collapsed in Kolkata. “They have come and are doing investigation,” a top police official of Hyderabad Police said.

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