At least 14 people were killed and over 100 injured when a part of a flyover that has been under construction since 2009 collapsed over taxis and other vehicles in the congested Girish park in Kolkata . A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official put the number of injured at around 100. Disaster management and trauma care teams, including from NDRF, joined the rescue and relief operations. So did hundreds of locals.
The West Bengal government had sought army help in the rescue efforts. “There was a sudden thundering noise” as the Vivekananda Flyover came crashing down, a witness said. He said he saw the flyover collapse over taxis, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles.
The flyover has been under construction since 2009. Locals had complained about it to the concerned authorities but they did not care of their concern. The flyover incidentally missed nine deadlines . Rs 164 crore was spent on the said jinxed flyover.
Several vehicles, including a mini bus, two taxis and three auto-rickshaws, were still buried under the debris. “More than 100 people must have been (buried) beneath it… It is a huge loss,” the witness said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cut short her election campaign from Midnapore to rush back to Kolkata and oversee rescue and relief operations. She announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the families of the dead and Rs.2 lakh each for those critically injured as well as Rs.1 lakh for those who suffered minor injuries.