Kolkata, March 31 (IANS) At least two people were killed and over 100 injured when a part of a flyover under construction collapsed over taxis and other vehicles in a congested area here on Thursday, police said.
At least 10-12 people were rushed from the debris to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Several others were reported trapped under the debris in the northern part of the metropolis.
“Two bodies have been extricated,” a police officer said. The disaster occurred around 12.30 p.m.
“We brought out 10-12 people. We cannot say whether they are dead or alive,” said another police officer.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official put the number of injured at around 100.
Disaster management and trauma care teams, including from NDRF, joined the rescue and relief operations. So did hundreds of locals.
The West Bengal government had sought army help in the rescue efforts. Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee was rushing back to Kolkata from Midnapore.
“There was a sudden thundering noise” as the Vivekananda Flyover came crashing down, a witness said.
He said he saw the flyover collapse over taxis, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles.
Several vehicles, including a mini bus, two taxis and three auto-rickshaws, were still buried under the debris.
“More than 100 people must have been (buried) beneath it… It is a huge loss,” the witness said.
Human body parts were seen in the debris, with blood splattered on the road.
The long-delayed 2.5-km flyover under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was expected to tackle congestion in Burrabazar area – the location of one of the largest wholesale markets in Asia – up to the Howrah station, the gateway to the city.
The project’s foundation was laid in 2008 and work on the Rs.164-crore project began on February 24, 2009.
It was scheduled to be completed in 2012 but land acquisition issues delayed its completion. The implementing agency too ran into financial troubles.