50-year-old Majerhat bridge in Kolkata collapses during rush hour traffic, one killed
Kolkata, Sep 4: A portion of the 50-year-old Majerhat bridge connecting Behala to other parts of Kolkata collapsed on Tuesday evening, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others.Many more are feared trapped under the debris. The incident took place in Taratala area of Kolkata.
Police confirmed the death of one person and said 19 others, including two women were injured.
The injured have been admitted to SSKM and CMRI hospitals, the police added.
Fire brigade personnel engaged in the rescue work had earlier said 25 injured were pulled out from the rubble. Locals have joined the authorities in rescuing people trapped under the debris. Indian Army has also rushed a team to Kolkata.
The flyover connects Mominpur-Taratala areas of the city. Many vehicles are said to be buried under the debris. The flyover is said to be one of the oldest brifges in Kolkata.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered a high level probe into the matter. Banerjee has said that the state government is monitoring the situation.
"We are very worried. We are receiving information from the rescue team on ground (majerhat bridge collapse in Kolkata). We want to go back as soon as possible. There are no flights in the evening, we are unable to do so..Our team is focused on relief and rescue work. Our priority is relief and rescue. Rest of the investigation will be done later," Banerjee, who is in Darjeeling, told the media.
Since the part of the bridge came crashing down on road, several people are trapped in their their vehicles which are buried under the debris.
Some reports hint that the flyover may have collapsed due to the structural failure.
It was a 40-year-old bridge. As of now there has been no casualty, but search operations are underway, let us wait: Firhad Hakim, West Bengal Minister on Majerhat bridge collapse. #Kolkata pic.twitter.com/n1x4lArKnk— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the incident as "deeply unfortunate" and hoped for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Governor K N Tripathi, who visited the site, described it as "a big disaster".
"I have come to see the rescue work. It is a big disaster. I heard that maintenance of the bridge is entrusted with the PWD and the railways. The matter required to be enquired," he told reporters.
The 450 metre-long bridge was built in early sixties and maintained by PWD, a member of mayor-in-council in the city municipal corporation said.
Some locals said the collapse might have been due to the construction of metro railway pillars nearby but this was not immediately confirmed by the experts.
This incident took place two years after a section of an under-construction flyover collapsed in the Burrabazar area of central Kolkata killing 28 people. Following the incident on March 31, 2016, the State government had set up an expert committee comprising former faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) to probe the incident.