Delhi Metro site collapse leaves 2 dead, 16 injured

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) Two people, including a bus driver and a labourer, were killed and 16 others injured when a 'launcher' of the Delhi Metro collapsed at its Laxmi Nagar site in East Delhi this morning.

Driver Surinder (28) of the Blueline bus, plying on route no 39 (Jheel to Inderlok), died on spot when the bus got crushed when the 'launcher' carrying the joints which join cement slabs fell on the road after its 'jack' slipped, according to eyewitnesses.

One of the critically injured labourers Chotte Lal (25), working for 'Afcons Ltd' died at the hospital, said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) adding that only nine had been injured even as the Delhi Police said 16 people were injured in the 'collapse' at the site near Walia Nursing Home.

''Nine people are 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 the DMRC.

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, it said.

''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.'' Prima facie it was a mechanical failure which led to the accident at about 0705 hrs, it added.

While eight fire tenders, rescue tenders and rescue responders reached the site within minutes, police and ambulance vans were equally prompt in reaching the accident site for quick relief and rehabilitation purposes.

Of the injured, seven were taken to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, three to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital and two to the Hedgewar Hospital of which one was discharged soon after, according to sources who said it took more than an hour to pull out those trapped under the debris.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Finance Minister A K Walia visited the site and the hospitals where the injured were admitted.

Senior BJP leader V K Malhotra also visited the site and demanded a judicial probe into the incident.

Soon after the accident, the DMRC announced Rs five lakh each ex gratia for those killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.

UNI AN SP BD1505

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