Agencies fail to act promptly | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Agencies fail to act promptly

When the 85-metre-long under construction 'rainbow pedestrian bridge' behind the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, the security agencies including the police presumed it was a mock drill. Responsible ones

delhi Updated: Sep 22, 2010 02:20 IST
Vijaita Singh

When the 85-metre-long under construction 'rainbow pedestrian bridge' behind the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, the security agencies including the police presumed it was a mock drill.

No ambulance or police control room (PCR) van was in the vicinity to take the injured to hospital, so private taxis were used. Some bus drivers who had brought schoolchildren for practice session at the stadium were the first ones to reach out to the victims.

In the absence of any rescue management at the accident site, private taxis were called in from the nearby Meher Chand market to ferry the injured persons.

With only 12 days to go for the Games, almost every day an anti-sabotage exercise and mock drill is conducted at the stadium to check the preparedness of multiple agencies in handling any kind of disaster.

This time surely it failed. "There was a huge sound and labourers working on the bridge started falling. I, along with other drivers rushed and removed the concrete slabs from them," said Ranjeet, a bus driver who had parked his vehicle nearby. The collapse of the pedestrian bridge has once again exposed the lack of coordination among the various agencies. Roads approaching the accident site are badly dug as the construction work is still on.

"We rescued at least four people till the police arrived. They were all writhing in pain. We shouted for help, brought water and put them in taxis. Till the ambulances came, 10 of the injured were already sent to hospital," said Tilak Singh, another bus driver who was present at the spot.

A PCR call was made at 3.26 pm though the incident had taken 10 minutes ago. It took the agencies another three hours to clear the construction material. However, the police said there was no delay in extending help and they were well on time. "We rushed several teams to the mishap site within minutes. There was no delay in rescue operations," said a senior police officer.