Even after 48 hours, Kolkata is still reeling under the trauma of the Vivekananda Flyover mishap that claimed 24 lives and injured over 100 others.
At 12.32 pm March 31, a 150-metre portion of the under-construction, 2.2-km Vivekananda Flyover collapsed in the congested market area of Burrabazar in Central Kolkata, trapping one bus, three taxis, three private cars, one truck, two motorcycles, two hand-pulled rickshaws, one van rickshaw and unrecorded number of unsuspecting pedestrians and hawkers in the area.
What followed was delayed state help in rescue operations, political mud-slinging, tagging the incident as ‘act of God’ by the builders and a few arrests/detentions, which only increased the frustration level of the common man who fell victim to the tragedy.
Let us have a look at past such incidents in India:
1. In 1982, the Sewa Nagar flyover in Delhi collapsed injuring at least 18 labourers who were working on the project. According to reports, the mishap was a result of hurried construction to meet the deadline of hosting the Asian Games that year.
2. In 2006, a 140-year-old, abandoned road over-bridge collapsed on the Howrah-Jamalpur Express train passing near Bhagalpur station in Bihar, killing at least 37 passengers, including 15 women and two children. Over 50 others were injured in the incident.
3. In September 2007, an under-construction flyover collapsed at Panjagutta area in Hyderabad. Two huge concrete parts fell on the traffic and around 20 people lost their lives in the mishap. Many were injured.
4. In 2009, as many as 48 workers were killed as an under-construction bridge at Kota bypass collapsed into the Chambal river flowing below.
5. In 2013, three labourers were killed and seven others were injured as an under-construction bridge, being built by Larsen & Toubro, collapsed near the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
6. In 2013, a road over-bridge came crashing down and its debris fell on a goods train in Maripur area of Muzaffarpur district in Bihar. At least 14 people were injured in the accident.
7. In 2013, a portion of the Ultadanga flyover in Kolkata collapsed after a 40-meter steel girder broke. At least three people were injured in the incident.
8. In 2014, while shifting columns, as many as three labourers died and at least six others were injured when a 35-metre-long concrete slab of an under-construction flyover collapsed at Parle Point area in Gujarat’s Surat city.
9. In February 2015, three people were critically injured when a portion of the under-construction Wazirabad-Janakpuri elevated corridor collapsed in Pitampura area of Delhi. According to reports, the accident took place due to the snapping of the straps that were holding a concrete block.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.