The death toll in Kolkata flyover collapse has now risen to 24, as per the latest reports from the authorities. The major accident at the running road on Thursday afternoon has left at least 90 people wounded. Meanwhile, army personnel along with Kolkata Police disaster management team, NDRF, fire fighters are still engaged in rescue operation at the busy Burra Bazar area.
While the state government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident, Kolkata police have filed an FIR against the Hyderabad-based construction firm IVRCL under sections 304, 308 and 407 of the IPC and sealed the local office of company.
According to some reports, a team of Kolkata police have left for Hyderabad to detain the officials of the construction firm.
Late last night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressing grief over the tragedy. PM Modi, who is away in Washington, assured all possible support to the state government from the Centre, an official release said.
Earlier today, three more bodies were recovered from underneath the piles of debris of concrete and iron girdles of the broken portion of the under-construction bridge.
“Nobody alive has been recovered… Two rambled autorickshaws apart from a few other vehicles have been pulled out. One lorry is still stuck inside… Whether there is anybody trapped inside cannot be said,” a police officer told the press.
Scattered shoes, slippers, water bottles, broken glass panes, hand bags could be seen all over the busy Vivekananda Road and Tagore Street crossing spot, called the Ganesh Talkies area, as the security personnel and rescuers were sifting through the rubble in search of survivors.
Narrating the sequences, a roadside fruit seller Amzad Hussain said the incident took place at around 12.10 PM.
“It appeared that the whole sky came down. The sound was deafening and the whole area was trembling. Initially I thought it was an earthquake. In fact, seeing people running helter skelter I ran away from my shop and as I found a massive dust swirling in air, I realised that the bridge has collapsed,” he said.
It was the locals who rushed to the spot and started the initial rescue work before informing police and fire office.
Teams of policemen, state disaster management teams, CRPF, CRP, Armymen poured in as locals climbed upon the rubbles in an attempt to rescue survivors at the scene, where multiple vehicles including cars, auto rickshaw were crushed and trapped under the bridge.
Recalling the moments of horror, another passer-by Vikash said, “I was crossing the road. Suddenly, I for no reasons felt like sprinting… Trust me there was no reason, I just felt like running and cross the road”.
Soon ambulances of local organisations besides trauma care ambulances were moving back and forth to carry the injured to different hospitals in the city.
(With inputs from the PTI)