Kolkata flyover tragedy: Death toll reaches 21; 3 FIRs filed against IVRCL

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.

Live Updates:

22:24 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

21:58 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

3 more NDRF teams sent to Kolkata bridge collapse site keeping in view the prolonged rescue operations. 10 teams with 400 rescuers on spot now.


21:02 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
Bangladesh Deputy High Commission has opened a 24-hour control room in here for Bangladeshi nationals seeking information regarding the flyover collapse.

“To get any information about Vivekananda flyover accident at Posta, Kolkata, a control room (24 hours) has been opened for the citizens of Bangladesh at Bangladesh Deputy High Commission, Kolkata,” a statement said. The helpline number is 033-40127500.

20:16 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
3 FIRs registered against the IVRCL infrastructure company including at Jorasanko Police Station.

18:23 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

18:20 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

18:11 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

“We need to first focus on rescue operation, will see about future course of action later. This is a very serious incident, law will take its course. Opinions of engineering experts will be taken in the matter. We will take care of all the expenses of all the injured, we hope for their speedy recovery,” said Mamata Banerjee.

17:59 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

“A Committee would be formed for investigating the tragedy. Specialists from Kharagpur IIT will be included in that group​,” said CM Mamata Banerjee.

17:55 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
A few victims have been reportedly identified as: Prakash Dhal, Ajay Kumar Kondai, Sarita Kondai, Asha Joshi, Tapan Dutta, Sanjay Meharohriya, Pranav Das, Kanchan Chatterjee, Asim Dutta, Kachi Das, Gulam Ali, Mahadev Adak, Samar Thakur, Asha Thakurand and Umesh Kumar.

17:49 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

17:42 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

Suryakant Mishra, CPI(M) leader said, “A lot of people are trapped. Please come forward and help us.”

17:24 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
While addressing a press conference from the accident site, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Guilty will be arrested and given severe punishment soon.”

While blaming the construction company IVRCL for the tragedy, Banerjee also blamed the CPI(M) govt as the contract with the company was signed during their rule.

17:17 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016
CCTV footage of the flyover collapsing has been found online. Watch it here:

16:25 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

PM Narendra Modi expresses his condolences via Twitter

15:48 IST Thursday, 31 March 2016

Also read: Kolkata flyover tragedy: Infra company IVRCL employees flee post incident; shares fall 11%

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.”

14:00 According to at a TV channel, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee cancelled her rally and is coming back to Kolkata . Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary have arrived on the spot.

13:56 The ANI reporter at the spot of the collapsed under-construction bridge in Kolkata said “scores of dead bodies under debris, many trapped”.

13:50 There still hasn’t been any official statement from the state goverment.

13: 40 According to ANI, rescue operations are still underway. One eyewitness claimed that the cement and concrete was poured yesterday, and the flyover collapsed today.