India, Kolkata: Today, a flyover collapsed in Kolkata, in which at least 14 people were killed and dozens more wounded. The flyover was under construction when it collapsed onto a crowded street around lunchtime, crushing pedestrians, cars and other vehicles under concrete slabs and metal.
“Fourteen people are confirmed dead. More than 70 are injured,” National Disaster Management Authority spokesman Anurag Gupta told AFP by phone. “The rescue operation is still on as many people are trapped under the debris.”Police and pedestrians initially used their hands to try to move fallen girders and steel rods to reach people. An AFP reporter saw body parts in the debris.
Soldiers then rushed to the site, television footage showed, as locals armed with bamboo sticks raced to lift rubble and crowds gathered in the hope of hearing news of loved ones feared trapped. “Everything is finished,” screamed Parbati Mondal, whose fruit-seller husband was missing in the collapse.
Construction on the flyover had been delayed for several years in the congested city, according to local media reports. Television footage showed one bloodied body trapped under a concrete slab, and also the hand of a person sticking out from under twisted debris. An eyewitness at the scene described a loud bang “like a bomb blast and suddenly there was a lot of smoke and dust”. “I looked at the other side of the road and people were screaming: ‘The bridge is collapsing’,” the unnamed man told television networks.