Bhubaneswar flyover collapse: One dead, many hurt

A motorist was killed and a few workers were feared trapped under the rubble of an under-construction flyover that collapsed at Bomikhal here in the city on Sunday.

According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occurred at around 12.30 pm when 30-40 workers were at the site. “We have rescued six persons. More people are believed to be trapped under the rubble,” said Mr. Anil Kumar Sahoo, a local resident.

He added that the death toll was likely to increase as some of the rescued workers were critically injured. The deceased was identified as 40-year-old Satyabrata Patnaik of Bhubaneswar.

Satyabrata was returning home on his scooter after picking up his eight-year-old daughter Sheetal Patnaik alias Isu from her dance class when a huge chunk of construction materials fell on them.

While Satyabrata died on the spot, his daughter was seriously injured in the incident. She was first sent to Capital Hospital and later shifted to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar as her condition was deteriorating. At least 15-20 injured workers were also rushed to Capital Hospital.

“We were engaged in the cementing work when suddenly a portion of the flyover collapsed,” said Amrit Kerketa, an injured worker.

Two teams of National Disaster Rapid Action Force and fire brigade personnel were engaged in the rescue operations.

Public works secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan said two engineers who were in charge of flyover construction were suspended and probe order given into the mishap.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met the injured persons in the Capital Hospital and announced `5 lakh ex-gratia for the bereaved family of the deceased. He also announced free treatment for the injured.

“I’m deeply shocked over this unfortunate incident. A high-level probe has been ordered. Exemplary actions will be taken whosoever will be found guilty,” the CM said.

Rescue operations were on till this report was filed. The BJP and Congress blamed Naveen Patnaik for the tragedy.

“We have been complaining about the substandard work of the flyover by Panda Infrastructures. We had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through his work secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan. The CM minister who is the works minister never took our complaint seriously. Instead, he allowed the contractor and the public works department to change the original drawing of the flyover for inflating the project cost. This is a huge scam and needs to be investigated by CBI,” said BJP vice president Sameer Mohanty.

Congress leader Suresh Kumar Routray said the construction work was going on at a slow pace for over 10 years and there was deliberate neglect to escalate the project cost for political funding. Mr. Routray also sought a CBI probe into the flyover collapse.


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