The collapse of the under-construction Vivekananda flyover in Kolkata on Thursday has once again drawn attention to the poor state of infrastructure in the country. But the Kolkata tragedy, which has killed 17 people so far (the death toll is expected to rise), is not the first time such a mishap has occurred:
New Delhi, 1981: The Sewa Nagar flyover collapsed, injuring at least 18 labourers who were working on the construction at the time. Initial investigations revealed there was a small defect in the scaffolding, but officials of the National Projects Construction Corporation, which was contracted by the Railways to build the flyover, said that the tragedy was “one of those unfortunate ones”, reported India Today.
Bhagalpur, 2006: An overbridge collapsed on an express train, killing 37 passengers. The bridge was supposed to be pulled down since a new one had been constructed, and the government had written to the Railways to do so, reported The Hindu. However, that wasn’t done before the tragedy struck. Then railway minister Lalu Prasad ordered a criminal case to be filed against those responsible.
Hyderabad, 2007: A partially constructed flyover at Panjagutta junction collapsed even as traffic moved on the street below. Around 20 died and an equal number were injured when two huge concrete parts of the flyover fell on to the traffic. AndhraNews reported that due to the resultant traffic congestion, rescuers had a tough time reaching the spot and administering first aid.
Kota, 2009: Disaster struck the bridge, situated on the Kota bypass, while it was under construction. Scaffolding gave way and 48 workers were killed; many of them fell into the Chambal river below, reported OneIndia.com.
Mumbai, 2013: An under-construction bridge collapsed near the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Marol, killing three labourers. Larsen&Toubro, who were responsible for the project, told the media that the incident was an 'accident' and took place despite adequate safety measures being in place. Apart from the three men who were killed in the accident, seven others were injured. The Mumbai police arrested three people and registered a case of negligence against Larsen & Toubro.
Muzaffarpur, 2013: A road over bridge collapsed and its debris fell on a goods train passing under it, injuring at least 14 persons, reported Hindustan Times. The accident occurred after the train left the Muzaffarpur railway station. The injured were admitted to nearby hospitals.
Kolkata, 2013: A 40-meter steel girder of the Ultadanga flyover broke, causing the bridge to collapse. Investigations later revealed that the tragedy could have been prevented if an extra pillar had been built, signs had been posted restricting speed to 20 kmph and goods vehicles had been prevented from accessing the flyover, reported The Times Of India. However, none of these things were done and the flyover collapsed. A year later, the government reopened the flyover after making sure that all repairs had been carried out, according to another The Times of India report.
Surat, 2014: Three labourers were killed and six others injured when a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Parle point area of the city, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner MK Das told PTI. The mishap occurred when the labourers were shifting the columns of the bridge during which a portion of the flyover fell on them, he said. The collapsed flyover was a part of the city`s cable-wire bridge connecting Parle point area to Adajan near Tapi river, Das said.
New Delhi, 2015: A portion of the Wazirabad-Janakpuri elevated corridor collapsed on to the road below, damaging three parked cars and injuring two people seriously, The Times of India reported. Initial investigations claimed that the accident occurred because the straps holding a concrete block snapped.