At least 15 people were feared killed and 20 others were injured when a portion of an under-construction flyover at Panjagutta, in the busy corridor connecting Begumpet to Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, collapsed on Sunday evening.
The accident happened when the road was choc-a-block with vehicles, partly due to traffic obstruction caused by flyover work and partly due to heavy rains that lashed the city on Sunday.
Half-a-dozen vehicles were reportedly crushed under the huge pre-fabricated concrete slab that was being fixed on the pylon. The slab got unhinged and came crashing down nearly 150 feet onto the vehicles below.
Though the accident site is hardly a furlong away from the chief minister’s residence and barely 200 yards from the
Panjagutta police station, rescue and relief operations commenced nearly two hours after the accident. In fact some TV channel reporters reached the place before the police could reach there.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and National Disaster Management Authority member M. Sashidhar Reddy and top police and municipal officials visited the accident site.
At least 10 cars, three auto rickshaws and a few two-wheelers were crushed under the collapsed portion of the flyover. Some pedestrians, who were standing under the flyover to protect themselves from rains, were also feared trapped, according to the eyewitnesses.
It was not clear how many more were trapped under the debris. Continuing rains hampered rescue efforts.