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Live: Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Kolkata flyover accident site tomorrow; death toll rises to 24

An under-construction flyover collapsed in Girish Park in north Kolkata on Thursday.

Anshu Lal April 01, 2016 17:13:12 IST
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Live: Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Kolkata flyover accident site tomorrow; death toll rises to 24

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Apr 01, 2016 - 17:28 (IST)

Strict action will be taken against those responsible for Kolkata flyover collapse, TMC leader Derek O'Brien told CNN-IBN.

Apr 01, 2016 - 17:15 (IST)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Kolkata flyover accident site tomorrow, CNN IBN reported.

Apr 01, 2016 - 16:34 (IST)

Residents of Kolkata on Friday paid homage to the people killed after an under-construction flyover collapsed in North Kolkata near Ganesh Talkies (Girish Park) on Thursday afternoon, ANI reported. A group of people gathered at the tragedy site to offer prayers for the people who lost their lives. At least 24 people were killed and over 100 are expected to be injured in the tragedy.

Apr 01, 2016 - 16:33 (IST)

Brigadier Harish Kukreja on Friday said that the rescue work is in final stage and it seems no more survivors or bodies are left under the bridge. He also appreciated the NDRF, civil administration and other teams for their co-ordination throughout the mission. He added that most of the area has been cleared up and the operation is still underway, ANI reported.

Apr 01, 2016 - 16:33 (IST)

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday demanded the state government to hand over the Kolkata flyover case to the CBI. He also said that CBI will look into the matter seriously. He added that the Centre is already providing all the possible help in the rescue operation.

Apr 01, 2016 - 15:45 (IST)

Kolkata bridge contractor IVRCL has projects in Maha, Sena wants probe

Doubts were raised on the construction quality of several projects of IVRCL after the unfortunate collapse in Kolkata. Incidentally, IVRCL has undertaken projects in Maharashtra as well. 

The firm is involved in several road projects in districts like Pune, Satara, Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Wardha, The Hindustan Times reported. It has also bagged several irrigation projects in the state. IVRCL's website shows that it has a share of public infrastructure contracts in several states including Andhra Pradhesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat.

Shiv Sena demanded that all projects, ongoing and otherwise, in the state undertaken by IVRCL or its joint venture with other firms should be probed on technical soundness. Pratap Sarnaik, Sena legislator said, "IVRCL in JV with other firms is currently constructing several projects in Maharashtra and all these should be reviewed by the government by technical experts to ensure that there is no repeat of accidents on the lines of the Kolkata bridge."

Apr 01, 2016 - 15:37 (IST)

'Rescue ops almost over'

"Rescue operations are almost over. We don't expect to find any more survivors," said an official. Rescuers worked through the night with cranes, saws and jackhammers to look for those who may be trapped in debris.


Army and disaster response personnel sifted through the rubble overnight, armed with concrete and metal cutters, drilling machines and heat cameras to detect life.


Three cranes working overnight managed to clear some of the wreckage and free access to vehicles with people still inside.

Apr 01, 2016 - 15:30 (IST)

IVRCL official hints blast could have been the reason for the collapse

As the death toll in the flyover collapse increased to 24 on Friday, a local Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay courted a fresh controversy on Friday by saying that the flyover should have been "remodelled." Bandopadhyay added that it was not done as the investment was already made into the project.

"My opinion is that it would have been better if it (flyover) was remodelled," the MP, who visited the site of accident, was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Speaking to journalists the MP said that the project should not have been approved at the first place and there was lot of issues among the locals regarding it.

Meanwhile, legal advisor to IVRCL Sheela Peddinti made an obscure remark and hinted that a blast could have been the reason behind the collapse. "The glass was shattered. It could have been a blast," Peddinti said on Friday.

Pedestrians and cars were crushed under concrete slabs and metal when a 60-metre portion of the flyover suddenly fell at lunchtime at Burrabazar in central Kolkata. Around 90 were rescued, many with serious injuries.

Apr 01, 2016 - 15:16 (IST)

Reports said that forensic Team arrived at the site of the flyover collapse to collect samples. However, TV reports said that the forensic team arrived after multiple reminders. "After 24 hours they are finally here," a bystander was quoted as saying by Times Now.

Apr 01, 2016 - 13:04 (IST)

Collapse was an accident, claims IVRCL

At the receiving end of strongly-worded allegations, IVRCL addressed a press conference, in which the firm maintained that the incident was 'an accident.' The company said it has no information about the FIR and that it has not been served on them

An under-construction flyover collapsed near Ganesh Talkies in Girish Park, north Kolkata on Thursday. Ten people have been killed and several people are feared to be trapped under the debris after the Vivekananda Setu flyover collapsed, according to CNN-IBN.

Traffic has come to a standstill and rescue operations are on. Many passenger vehicles, trucks and rickshaws were seen under the debris but it was not immediately known as to how many people were trapped.

Live Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Kolkata flyover accident site tomorrow death toll rises to 24

Image courtesy: CNN-IBN

"The bridge collapsed. I think atleast 150 people are under the debris," ANI quoted an eye-witness as saying.

Firefighters and residents were trying with their bare hands to rescue those trapped under the wreckage of the metal-and-cement structure.

Television footage from the scene showed a bloody hand reaching out from under what appeared to be a massive girder. People were trying to hand bottles of water to survivors pinned underneath.

"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.

There was little sign of a coordinated rescue operation, with access for heavy lifting equipment restricted by the proximity of buildings on either side of the flyover and heavy traffic.

Some people who were rescued with injuries were admitted to hospital.

Disaster Management Groups and officials of Kolkata Police and Fire and Emergency Services are at the spot, according to DNA. Gas cutters are also being used to save trapped people.

Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force comprising about 80 personnel have rushed to the flyover collapse spot.

NDRF Director General OP Singh said in Delhi that the teams are being sent from their local base at Rajarhat, near the Kolkata airport.

The accident spot is about 13 kms from the NDRF base.

"The teams are well equipped to immediately conduct rescue operations. They will do that exactly as soon as they reach," Singh said.

According to reports, the flyover was being constructed by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. According to Times Now, the project was supposed to be finished in 2010 but was delayed.

The flyover has been under construction since 2009 and the project had missed several deadlines, reported India Today.

According to this 2014 report in The Telegraph, a company called IVRCL was awarded the contract for the flyover on 24 February, 2009 with an 18-month deadline and a budget of Rs 164 crore.

But even in 2014, IVRCL, which had been contracted by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) to build the flyover, had told the state government that "it was in a difficult position to complete the project that is already running 42 months behind schedule with only 69 per cent of the work done so far."

A similar incident had taken place in May 2013, when a huge portion of a flyover on the eastern side of Kolkata had collapsed, leaving three persons injured, police had said.

Girish Park metro station is a major transport hub in Kolkata, because of which the area is generally crowded. The area also houses many residential and commercial buildings.

(With agency inputs)

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