A large bridge collapse has claimed the lives of at least 15 people in Kolkata, India this morning. There are reportedly 150 people still trapped under a concrete overpass, and some of those trapped are rescue workers who were attempting to pull people out of the rubble.
Cadaver dogs and special cameras are being used to locate people under the rubble, and small cranes are being used to pull large concrete blocks off of victims. A police officer on the scene, Raichand Mohta, had this to say to the media:
“The condition is pathetic. At this moment no one has any clue how many people are trapped.”
Possibly shielding those trapped are crushed rickshaws and taxi cabs allowing for air holes and hiding spots. Bloody legs of some victims can be seen sticking out of the heaping pile of concrete, steel, and human flesh.
A video of the incident was aired on local television, and it clearly showed two vehicles and a crowd of people under the bridge when it collapsed. A person working at a nearby grocery store, Ravindra Kumar Gupta, witnessed the entire thing, telling the news:
“Every night, hundreds of labourers would build the flyover and they would cook and sleep near the site by day.”
“The government wanted to complete the flyover before the elections and the labourers were working on a tight deadline. Maybe the hasty construction led to the collapsel.”
Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan said this:
“Many people are raising questions about how this could have happened. The flyover has been under construction for five years and has missed several deadlines for completion. So one of the reasons of the collapse could be lack of quality and safety control.”
The company who built the failed bridge released this message:
“We did not use any inferior quality material and we will cooperate with the investigators. We are in a state of shock.”
Video courtesy of Twitter:
video from another angle by Dhiman Hazra, Bridge collapsed in Kolkata, India, dozen dead, over 150 trapped pic.twitter.com/wS28W6J27R
— Khalid Khan™ (@khalidkhan787) March 31, 2016