In a gruesome mishap on Sunday morning, part of the Delhi Metro segment under-construction collapsed in Zamroodpur, close to Kailash Colony, South Delhi, killing five labourers and injuring 15 others.
While the incident occurred at 5 am on a busy intersection close to Lady Shri Ram College, rescue operations to remove the bodies was still in the progress.
According to DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal, preliminary inquiry showed that the accident had occurred as a pier cap got displaced.
The pier cap on top of the pillar gives support both to the launcher and the segment. The launcher is used for erecting the segment.
This was the second incident involving a launcher, the first happened in Laxmi Nagar in October 2008.
DMRC chief Sreedharan was flying from Bangalore soon after hearing the incident, he added.
He said work was on at the Central Secretariat-Badarpur section of Metro Railway when the segment collapsed.
"Around 30 persons were working at the site at that time and 15 of the were injured who were taken to Moolchand hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung. Three of them were suffering from major injuries, three were discharged after first aid," Dayal added.
The entire site, which is on the busy intersection of East of Kailash-Amar Colony-Kailash Colony, has been cordoned off.
Large crowds and media thronged the area packed with police and fire brigade personnel to see the fallen segments on the ground and dangling gargantuan orange coloured launcher.
Speaking to HT at the site Additional DCP South East Sanjay Kumar Jain said, "Delhi Police, Fire Brigade, Disaster Management team all rushed here soon after call of the collapse came at 5 am. Three persons have been killed, two are still trapped, 12 injured have been taken to hospital."
The whole structure was still hanging precariously and one had to work very slowly otherwise it could collapse, he added.
"The collapse of the heavy structure had broken the road and burst a pipeline. The water had been shut off," he said.
"Fortunately at that time there was not much traffic on the busy intersection except those labourers who were working."
He said police would be registering a case of death due to negligence.
Vijay Bahadur, Divisional Fire Officer, East Delhi said, "We have deployed ten Fire Brigade units including the Bronto Skylift which can go above 40 metres. We are trying to use to skylift to raise the fallen launcher after putting slings."
He said the fire brigade had removed three casualties from the site.