Flyover collapses on busy Indian road

Locals and rescue workers clear the rubbles of a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, Thursday, March 31, 2016. At least dozens have been injured and few were killed when a portion of an overpass under construction collapses in a congested area in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

A flyover under construction in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (Calcutta) has collapsed, killing at least 10 people and injuring others.

Many people are feared trapped under the concrete and steel bridge, which fell on a busy road.

The accident took place in an area near Girish Park, one of Kolkata’s most densely populated neighborhoods, with narrow lanes, and shops and houses built close together.

Images show residents using their bare hands to help the rescue effort.

Safety issues such as lack of inspections and the use of substandard materials have plagued construction projects in the country.

Reports say the 2km-long (1.2 mile) flyover has been under construction since 2009 and missed several deadlines for completion, Reuters news agency says.

 The collapsed structure appears to have hit passers-by, cars, lorries and nearby buildings. People are said to have been living in makeshift homes under the flyover.

According to an eye witness, Ramesh Kejriwal, “There was a loud sound which scared us. The concrete had been laid last night at this part of the bridge.”

Report says at least 60 people injured have been taken to nearby hospitals and some of them are in critical condition.

The report also has it that emergency teams have been sent to the area with sniffer dogs, concrete cutters, drilling machines and sensors to detect life.

 The army and national disaster agency in India have also joined the rescue operation. Witnesses, however, say there are no signs of a co-ordinated response on the ground.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was monitoring the situation, adding that he was deeply saddened to know that precious lives have been lost in the Kolkata accident.

BBC