Home India News Five killed, 15 injured in Delhi Metro bridge collapse

Five killed, 15 injured in Delhi Metro bridge collapse


New Delhi : In one of the worst accidents involving Delhi Metro, a bridge under construction in a congested area of south Delhi collapsed Sunday, killing five people, including an engineer, and injuring 15 others.

A water pipeline burst due to the impact, leading to the area getting swamped in water. The accident, which took place near the well-known Lady Shri Ram College for women, caused disruption in the traffic.

The bridge that collapsed was part of an elevated section of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) new route on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur section. The incident took place at around 5 a.m. at the construction site at Zamrudpur near Amar Colony. A launching girder along with a portion of the bridge set up on pre-fabricated pillars collapsed.

The section was slated to be open September 2010, a month before the Commonwealth Games next year.

“Five people have died and of the deceased three died in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre while two dead are yet to be taken out of the debris at the construction site,” (DMRC) spokesperson Anuj Dayal told reporters here.

Three of the dead have been identified as Anshuman, a site engineer, and construction workers Niranjan and Badan Singh, Dayal said. The injured were taken to AIIMS, Safdarjung and Moolchand hospitals.

The work at the stretch was being undertaken by Gammon India Ltd, contracted by DMRC. Thirty workers were present at the site — most of them from Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh — at the time of the incident.

Delhi Police have registered a case of negligence against the company.

Construction workers allege that the pillar on which the bridge was to be hoisted was faulty.

“There were cracks in the pillar and we had warned the contractor and officials – but they paid no heed,” said a construction labourer.

Said Joint Commissioner of Police (southern range) Ajay Kashyap: “Our immediate priority is to clear the debris and to carry out rescue operations. We have registered a case of negligence and technical experts will carry out an inquiry into the matter.”

“The traffic, and power and water supply in the area have been affected following the rescue operation. Debris clearance will take time as the collapsed structure is quite big,” Kashyap said.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit termed the accident “unfortunate” and said: “We shall fix the accountability of those behind the incident.”

She announced a compensation of Rs.500,000 to the kin of each of the deceased, Rs.200,000 each to those permanently disabled and Rs.50,000 each to the injured. The amount is to be paid by the DMRC.

Dikshit denied allegations that the bridge came down because work was being done in haste to meet the deadline for the Commonwealth Games.

“I don’t think it was due to the pressure of Commonwealth Games that the incident happened. There is no pressure that could lead to the collapse,” she added.

According to DMRC, the incident took place between pillars 66 and 67 when the pillar cap was affected.

“Ten segments were to be erected on the stretch of which five had been completed. When the sixth segment was being erected, the launching girder collapsed due to disbalance causing a portion of the bridge to fall,” Dayal explained.

Dayal said rescue operations were being monitored by a team of 100 DMRC engineers and DMRC Managing Director E. Sreedharan was on his way from Bangalore.

A Delhi Jal Board water supply pipe also burst, swamping the area in ankle to knee deep water.

“We have also temporarily disconnected the electricity lines in the area. Traffic has been diverted at the Kailash Colony market, Amar Colony, the nearby Lady Sri Ram College and Blue Bells School till 6.00 a.m. tomorrow (Monday),” Dayal said.

DMRC is scheduled to complete the 190-km Phase II of the Delhi Metro by October 2010 and construction was on in full swing to ensure that deadlines were met.