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As it happened: Kolkata flyover collapses, many dead

At least 18 people were killed in Kolkata on Thursday and hundreds were feared trapped when an under-construction flyover collapsed on to traffic on the street below. Rescue ops are on. Kolkata Helpline Numbers: 1070, 033-22143526 | 033-22535185 | 033-22145664

india Updated: Mar 31, 2016 19:49 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Heavy vehicles crushed as an under-construction flyover collapsed on Vivekananda Road in Kolkata on Thursday.
Heavy vehicles crushed as an under-construction flyover collapsed on Vivekananda Road in Kolkata on Thursday.(PTI)

An under-construction flyover collapsed in a congested Kolkata neighbourhood on Thursday, killing at least 22 people and trapping hundreds underneath giant steel frames and concrete slabs.

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6:30pm: Officials say toll rises to 22.

5:35pm: “It is nothing but God’s act,” claimed Panduranga Rao of the Hyderabad-based IVRCL Construction company engaged in the flyover’s construction, drawing all round flak.

5:30pm: Police said that 18 persons have so far died in the incident in Burrabazar area.

CCTV footage of the bridge collapsing

Firefighters and residents were trying to rescue those trapped under the wreckage of the metal-and-cement structure that came down near Girish Park in a teeming commercial district.

Watch | Many killed as bridge collapses in busy area of Kolkata

5:20pm: 500 army personnel have reached the spot. A total of 78 people were rescued till 5 pm. Many are still trapped as the huge concrete structures that came crashing down could not be removed.

Two of the dead were identified as Tapan Malhotra, a resident of Malapara, and another Sanju Malhotra, a resident of Girish Park.

5pm: A total of 78 were rescued till 5 pm. Many are still trapped as the huge concrete structures that came crashing down could not be removed. Two of the dead were identified as Tapan Malhotra a resident of Malapara and another Sanju Malhotra, a resident of Girish Park.

MoS for home Kiren Rijiju said two team of NDRF, comprising around 90 personnel, have already been engaged in the rescue operations at the spot while three more teams, comprising around 135 personnel, were on their way.

“It is a disaster. It has to be responded as a disaster. We are ready to provide additional forces if necessary,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

Rijiju said a report has been sought from the West Bengal government on the incident and that will give a clear picture on how it had happened.

4:30pm: Babul Supriyo, MoS, urban development minister, said: “The construction work of the bridge was carried on in an unscientific manner. The state administration clearly did not take any lesson even after the collapse of Ultadanga flyover three years ago .”

4:10pm: PM Narendra Modi tweeted: “Shocked & saddened by collapse of under construction flyover in Kolkata. Took stock of the situation & rescue operations.”

3:45: CM Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the dead, Rs 2 lakh each for those critically injured and Rs 1 lakh each for those who suffered minor injuries.

3:43: Mamata Banerjee said 14 people were killed and at least 17 injured in the tragedy were taken to hospital.

3:40: The ruling Trinamool Congress says the Left Front is playing politics over the tragedy.

3: 35pm: Vehicles are still trapped as rescue efforts continue.

3:30pm: A building has been completely evacuated to ensure that if other sections collapse it will not endanger more lives.

3:25pm: Army has deployed four columns of rescue personnel, three medical teams with two ambulances and surgeons with nursing assistants. An engineering team with specialist equipment has also reached the spot.

The army has been called in for providing assistance and troops are on the way, said a statement of S S Birdi, CPRO defence.

There are no sights of cranes that can lift the mammoth slabs even three hours after the incident.

A control room has been opened at the state secretariat.

3:10pm: Mamata Banerjee said: “The flyover was tendered in 2008 during CPM rule.”

Army called in to assist in rescue work. The troops are on the way, reports ANI.

3pm: Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “News of the collapse of a flyover in Kolkata extremely tragic. I hope rescue &relief ops reach those trapped and injured at the earliest.”

2:55pm: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other senior Trinamool Congress leaders have reached the spot.

2:50pm: Efforts are underway to rescue those trapped under the debris. Many cars, trucks and rickshaws were seen under the large chunks of concrete and metal debris.

2:35pm: Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to DG NDRF who apprised him of the situation at the accident site in Kolkata. NDRF teams have been rushed to the spot for rescue ops.

2:25pm: More than one bus with passengers is still trapped under the debris, said Kolkata Police personnel manning the Lalbazar control room in Kolkata.

2:20pm: “The condition is pathetic. At this moment no one has any clue how many people are trapped,” said Raichand Mohta, a police officer at the scene.

2.10pm: 2 units of NDRF were rushed to the accident site to assist in rescue work, says ANI.

2pm: According to Trinamool Congress sources chief minister Mamata Banerjee is rushing back to Kolkata from West Midnappore where she was on an election campaign trip.

Paramilitary forces in the city on election rushed to the spot to lend a helping hand to the rescue efforts.

People were seen pushing water bottles responding to cries of help coming from persons trapped under the debris .

1.50pm:Two people declared dead. Local residents in north Kolkata’s Girish Park say hundreds of people and some vehicles are trapped under the debris of the flyover.

The principal of Calcutta Medical College T K Lahiri told HT that two persons were “brought dead” while two were undergoing treatment at the hospital.

News agency ANI reported 10 people were dead.

“Five persons were rushed to the hospital,” DC traffic V Solomon Neshakumar said. The collapse occurred in a congested area on Vivekananda Road in north Kolkata.

In pics: Under-construction flyover collapses in Kolkata

The flyover was set to be one of Kolkata’s longest, connecting Girish Park in north Kolkata to Howrah.

Rescue workers were seen trying to extract those trapped by cutting through stone slabs using heavy drilling machines. Personnel from disaster management authority rushed to the spot.

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority was building the flyover.

With inputs from agencies

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