Accessibility links

5 Detained After Indian Overpass Collapse

  • VOA News

General view shows a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, India, April 1, 2016.

General view shows a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, India, April 1, 2016.

Indian police said Friday they have detained five officials of the construction company that was building the bridge that collapsed Thursday in the eastern city of Kolkata, killing at least 23 people and injuring 80 more.

Earlier Friday, police said they have opened a case of culpable homicide against the construction firm.

While rescue operations continued through the night, authorities now say the operation is focusing on recovering bodies.

Javed Ahmed Khan, disaster management minister for the state of West Bengal, said the death toll is expected to rise due to the large number of injured people.

Workers were pouring concrete when a 100-meter section of the bridge suddenly collapsed onto the crowded street below.

Excavator machines remove debris of a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, India, April 1, 2016.

Excavator machines remove debris of a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, India, April 1, 2016.

Rescue effort

Teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and military personnel were brought in to aid in the rescue effort. Prior to their arrival, residents and firefighters had been trying to free those trapped, many using bare hands.

"As soon as we learned about the bridge collapsing, we immediately contacted the state administration and spoke to the state relief commissioner. Immediately we dispatched two rescue teams to the spot. Fortunately both the teams were in the Rajarhat locality of Kolkata and they reached the accident spot and started their operations," NDRF Director General O.P. Singh said.

According to Singh, rescuers used sniffer dogs, concrete cutters and special cameras to find people trapped in the rubble.

A local grocer told Reuters news agency "The government wanted to complete the flyover before the elections and the laborers were working on a tight deadline. Maybe the hasty construction led to the collapse."

XS
SM
MD
LG