Bridge near main CWG stadium collapses, govt orders probe | india | Hindustan Times
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Bridge near main CWG stadium collapses, govt orders probe

Just 12 days before the Commonwealth Games begin and two days before athletes start to arrive, a pedestrian bridge next to the showpiece Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium completely collapsed injuring 27 labourers. Meanwhile, Delhi govt has formed a two-member committee to probe the incident, reports HT.See pics

india Updated: Sep 22, 2010 08:21 IST
HT Correspondent

It was a black joke construction-weary Delhiites got used to passing around — that one of the newly built Commonwealth Games structures could come crashing down. But the nightmare everyone hoped would never turn real came partly true on Tuesday.

Just 12 days before the Commonwealth Games begin and two days before athletes start to arrive, a pedestrian bridge next to the showpiece Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium completely collapsed. Twenty-seven labourers working on the bridge were injured, five critically.

“Concrete was being filled in the deck slab when one of the pins loosened and the bridge collapsed from one side and then the entire deck collapsed,” Public Works Department engineer-in-chief Rakesh Mishra said. Sources, however, said the bridge, designed to be a showpiece itself, didn’t have all the required clearances.

The bridge was to link the car park to the stadium, which will hold the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events. It was meant to be used by athletes and officials.

The bridge, on the south side of the stadium, went across Barapullah road -- an elevated, direct road from the Games Village. The road’s inauguration might get delayed further.

The bridge collapsed at 3.01 p.m. Eyewitnesses say there was no PCR van nearby. Locals had to use private taxis to take the injured to Safdarjung Hospital and AIIMS. "No police were around. We were the first to rescue the labourers,” said Salvinder Singh (60), a bus driver.

Witnesses also said dug up roads and construction waste slowed down the rescue process.

CM Sheila Dikshit said the government has constituted a team of experts, led by H.S. Dogra (retired director general of the CPWD), to look into the reasons. “We have served a notice for black-listing to the contractor responsible. The team will submit its report within a fortnight,” she said.

The bridge was being built by Chandigarh-based P&R Infraprojects Ltd and was contracted by the PWD of the Delhi government. A case of negligence has been registered against unknown persons at Lodhi Colony police station.

Disaster zone

First the firing near the Jama Masjid and now a 85-m foot overbridge collapsing near the main Games stadium. India’s coming out party has turned into a nightmare, say experts and the foreign media. Some participants are saying the Games may not happen at all. Will Delhi bounce back?

Late rescue act

When the bridge collapsed on Tuesday, security agencies, including the police, presumed it was a mock drill. So, no ambulance or police control room vans were in the vicinity. The injured were ferried to hospital in private taxis by locals. A PCR call was made 25 minutes after the accident.