After another accident at the Metro construction site near Lady Shri Ram College on Monday, just 24 hours after six persons were killed when a bridge collapsed there, the rail corporation said it would re-check all pillars in under-construction sections.
Though the second incident was less severe — only five people were injured — it did come as shock to the embattled Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. “We would carry out a safety review of all the pillars on all the lines,” said spokesman Anuj Dayal.
The second incident didn’t have anything to do with a pillar — three cranes crashed while clearing debris left behind by the Sunday accident, which was possibly caused by a hastily patched up crack in a pillar.
That faulty pillar has made Metro rail decide to recheck all pillars in sections of the network under construction — and not just on the 20-km Central Secretariat-Badarpur line by two accidents in two days.
The cantilever pillars (inverted L-shaped pillars) would go through more extensive testing. It was a cantilever pillar that collapsed on Sunday. “Design and construction of all such pillars will be thoroughly checked,” Dayal said.
Construction on these sections, however, will continue. “A safety review has become a must,” said a senior Metro official refusing to be named.
He added, “We want to ensure that no pillar has a hidden crack or any other fault that can lead to a similar mishap later.” This was the second major accident for the Metro.
The last one was in September 2008, when a construction machine called a launcher, which places pre-fabricated segments to form the span between two pillars, collapsed killing two persons.
Its third big accident happened just the day after the second. As Metro officials watched in horror, workers and others around jumped out of the way of the flying parts of the crumbling cranes.
This one was caught live on camera. The police cordoned off the area to ascertain if there is anybody trapped in the debris. Additional forces were also called in to control the crowd.
Earlier in the day, Metro Rail chief E Sreedharan who had put in his papers after the Sunday crash, withdrew his resignation after chief minister Sheila Dikhit refused to accept it and directed him to continue.