Kolkata flyover tragedy: 14 dead, 78 injured, control room set up, helpline number 1070

Kolkata: A portion of a Vivekananda flyover collapsed on Thursday afternoon leaving several trapped. Rescue operations are underway and officials are trying to pull out people trapped under mounds of rubble. Disaster Management Groups, officials of Kolkata Police and Fire and Emergency Services are at the stop. DMG officials are using gas cutters to save trapped people. Rescue operations are underaway near Ganesh Talkies (Girish Park) in Kolkata. Eye-witnesses say that there could be around 150 people under the debris. The flyover was the object of some controversy, with lots of residents complaining about it, particularly due to the congestion it caused.


15:48 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

15:39 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
MoS Home Kirren Rijiju said: “Our team is in contact with WB, NDRF teams have been dispatched. We will send more NDRF teams and para-military forces if necessary. Everything will be done acc. to the requirement. Help for kin of the deceased will come later. State govt is already doing whatever is necessary, central forces are there to support, help & take part in rescue &relief ops.”


15:27 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Civilians who were helping out have been asked to move out from the area as the army has arrived. BJP leader Rupa Ganguly has arrived in the area.

15:25 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

The state govt has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the dead, Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 1 lakh injured.

15:17 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
The official count has risen to 14 while the state government has set up a control room with the helpline number 1070. The army has arrived while the central forces that were deployed for poll duty are also assisting. The area is so congested that cranes are unable to reach the area and there’s some reluctance to use cranes since the debris is so close to residential areas.

14:57 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

Army called in to assist in rescue work for the bridge that has collapsed in Kolkata. Troops are on the way.

14:50 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reached the spot of the incident and is overseeing the incident. 17 cranes have been rushed to the spot but because of the congestion are unable to reach the spot. The injured are being taken to Calcutta Medical College.

14:40 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to know that precious lives have been lost in the Kolkata accident.My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Spoke to DG NDRF who apprised me of the situation at the accident site in Kolkata. NDRF teams have been rushed to the spot for rescue ops.”

TMC MP Derek O’ Brien wrote on Twitter: Monumental tragedy. Rescue ops on. Many feared dead. Chief Sec/Home Sec at site. CM headed back to Kol immediately. This the update I have.”

14:35 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Firefighters and residents were trying with their bare hands to rescue those trapped under the wreckage of the metal-and-cement structure that came down near Girish Park in a teeming commercial district. Television footage from the scene showed a bloody hand reaching out from under what appeared to be a massive girder. People were trying to hand bottles of water to survivors pinned underneath.

“The condition is pathetic. At this moment no one has any clue how many people are trapped,” said Raichand Mohta, a police officer at the scene. A Reuters witness said paramedics had worked to free people from a minibus taxi that was crushed in the collapse.

There was little sign of a coordinated rescue operation, with access for heavy lifting equipment restricted by the proximity of buildings on either side of the flyover and heavy traffic.

The flyover has been under construction since 2009 and has missed several deadlines for completion.

14:29 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Two units of NDRF being rushed to Ganesh Talkies area of North Kolkata to assist in rescue work after a bridge collapsed Meanwhile, the BJP were quick to blame the West Bengal govt and Mamata Banerjee for the mishap. Kailash Vijayvargiya said to ANI: “Mamata ji’s govt is responsible for this. We want action to be initiated against the ministers and people associated.”