At least 18 persons were killed and many others injured after an under-construction flyover collapsed on a busy road in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata in West Bengal in mid-day traffic today (March 31).
The incident took place near Girish Park, a densely populated neighbourhood, which has narrow lanes, closely built houses, and shops.
The two-kilometer long Vivekananda Road flyover is being built by Hyderabad-based company IVRCL Limited. Construction of the flyover had started in 2009, but the project has missed several deadlines for completion. The company was originally given an 18-month deadline to complete the construction at a budget of around Rs165 crore.
A senior official of IVRCL has said that the accident was “nothing but a god’s act” and there were no technical or quality issues in the construction.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wanted the flyover completed by February this year, according to a report in The Telegraph newspaper in November 2015. At the time, the project was running 62 months behind schedule and 76% of the construction was complete. Project engineers had expressed concerns on whether it was possible to complete the project at such tight notice, the newspaper report had said.
“We will take every action to save lives of those trapped beneath the collapsed flyover. Rescue is our top priority,” Banerjee said after today’s incident.
Here are some images of the accident: