Youths help in rescue after Kolkata bridge collapse

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Kolkata, Sep 4 (IANS) A cab driver and his passenger, among the eyewitness to collapse of a portion of a bridge in the city on Tuesday, were at loss for words while area youths extended a helping hand after the tragedy in South Kolkata.

Shishir Chakraborty, whose car was at the spot when the bridge at Majerhat in Diamond Harbour Road caved in, recounted that he felt a jerk but did not understand the reason. He said he discovered only later that a column of the bridge had collapsed.

“While moving, I saw a car jerking but couldn’t understand the reason. Then I saw the broken column of the bridge. There were two minibuses, a private car and four to five motorcycles besides my car,” Chakraborty said.

“All were injured, but fortunately I am fine. I was there for almost 25 minutes. Some workers and localities helped us.

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“Till then, I could not see anybody from the administration or any ambulance on the spot. I cannot tell the exact condition of the people who were below,” he added.

An area resident said there was no electricity immediately after the incident.

“All of a sudden, we heard a horrible sound and initially thought it was a tremor. We took a minute to gauge what exactly had happened. The electricity in the entire area went off. Then, we joined the rescue work,” an area resident said.

Youths from Ekbalpore helped bus passengers stuck in chaos between Sakherbazar and Howrah route.

Gulam Mustafa, one of the youths who were lazing around with friends when the incident occurred, said: “We tried to help as much as we could to get those stuck in the minibus out.”

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One man was crushed to death in the bridge portion collapse, which also left 19 persons injured and several vehicles damaged.

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