A section of a new flyover at Ultadanga on the northern fringes of Kolkata came crashing down at 4 am on Sunday in a disaster injuring three drivers and crew of a truck that was passing through the bridge. The section, about 200 metres in length, came down on a canal below. Divers are being pressed into service to find out if anyone else is trapped in the vehicle. Thousands of vehicles pass through this flyover everyday as it provides a quick transit to the airport from the city bypassing the crowded Ultadanga crossing.
On December 28, 2011 media reports highlighted cracks at that particular section of the bridge but traffic was allowed as usual. Cracks were identified at two other points of the same flyover as well. The flyover was inaugurated about two years ago. An entire section between two pillars crashed. “All flyovers were erected during the Left regime. We would probe the reasons behind the accident,” said urban development minister Firhad Hakim who rushed to the spot. “All flyovers in the state were constructed in the Left Front era. So it is useless to blame the Left for construction deficiencies,” said Ashok Bhattacharya, former urban development minister. “KMDA engineers cannot shirk responsibility. They should have taken precautionary measures. The engineer who was in charge should also be hauled up,” said Hakim. Disaster management and fire brigade teams rushed to the spot. Hakim also promised a third party inspection to fix cause of the disaster and responsibility.