Collapse at Delhi Metro site: 2 dead, 11 injured, probe ordered

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) An otherwise blemish-free record of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) received its first major dent as a portion of one of its under-construction bridges, along with a 'launcher', collapsed in Laxmi Nagar area of East Delhi this morning, leaving two dead and about a dozen others injured.

While a Blueline bus driver Surinder (28) died on the spot, a critically injured labourer working with the construction company 'AFCONS Ltd' died at the hospital later, according to official sources.

The Blueline bus, plying on route no 39 (Jheel to Inderlok), was crushed when the 'launcher' carrying the joints which aligns cement slabs fell on the road near Walia Nursing Home after its 'jack' slipped, said the eyewitnesses.

Even as the Delhi Police said 11 people were injured in the 'collapse', the DMRC claimed only nine had been injured.

Nine people were injured - seven in LNJP hospital and two in Headgewar MCD Hospital at Karkardooma. Two out of them are seriously injured and one has got both his legs amputated while the other has had one leg amputated, said DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal addressing the media along with three other directors.

''One Blueline bus, two cars and two trailers were damaged due to the falling of the launcher which brought down along with it about 400 tonnes of material.'' The 'launcher', which belonged to AFCONS (contractor) and moves from pier to pier for constructing elevated spans, collapsed between pier 39 to 40 located between Laxmi Nagar and Nirman Vihar.

About nine segments fell within the barricaded portion of the DMRC work site, he said.

''Prima facie it appeared that there might have been a mechanical failure in the launcher, but a thorough probe could only ascertain the real reason behind the collapse.'' DMRC Managing Director E Sreedharan has ordered an independent probe into the incident. A three-member inquiry committee comprising an IIT's structural engineering professor, a foreign expert and the DMRC Chief Engineer (Design) has been constituted for the purpose, he said.

''Delhi IIT's Director has been approached to nominate a professor of structural engineering to the probe panel,'' he said.

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