One person was killed and seven others sustained serious injuries after two girders of the under-construction Eastern Freeway Project collapsed in Wadala on Thursday evening. Around five vehicles, including a Meru cab, cement concrete mixer and an oil tanker, were trapped underneath the debris
The incident occurred at around 9 pm in Shanti Nagar, Wadala, when the concrete slabs fell on the ground with a thud, trapping pedestrians and vehicles underneath. “I heard a huge bang when the girders collapsed. I managed to move my truck just in time, but the furnace oil stored inside spilled around on the road,” said Yusuf Sheikh, a truck driver, who narrowly survived the crash. “I parked my truck between two pillars. Though the rear part of the truck was damaged, I escaped,” he added.
The Eastern Freeway Project, which will connect P D’mello Road and Ghatkopar, is scheduled to be completed in December 2012. The contractor for the MMRDA project is Simplex, which was involved in another similar incident earlier this year, when a part of the Lalbaug flyover had also given way.
The victims were rushed to Sion Hospital. “Two of them have sustained head injuries, three have fractures in their hands, forearms and pelvic bones, and one patient was brought in dead,” said an official from the hospital. “No children were wheeled in.”
At the spot, locals complained about the delay in rescue operations. “More than two hours after the incident, MMRDA officials had not been able to lift the girders,” said a local.
Pravin Salunkhe, additional commissioner of police, central region said: “A case of death due to negligence will be registered against the concerned persons. As of now, one person and over five are injured, but the figure may go up.”
MMRDA chief Rahul Asthana, who was at the spot, refused to comment until the completion of rescue operations.
Jinxed city project?
The eastern Freeway Project, which will connect P D’mello Road and Ghatkopar, is scheduled to be completed in Dec 2012. The contractor for the MMRDA project is Simplex, which was involved in another similar incident earlier this year, when a part of the Lalbaug flyover had also given way.