Foot overbridge collapses, construction company blacklisted (Night Lead)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NEW DELHI - In another blow to India’s preparations for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, a foot overbridge being constructed near the main venue Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed Tuesday, injuring 27 labourers, four of them seriously.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced that the government had blacklisted Hyderabad based PNR infrastructure, the company that was constructing the foot overbridge.

“The company has been blacklisted and a two-member committee has been set up to look into the matter,” Dikshit told reporters.

Earlier Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said: “The foot overbridge outside the Jawaharlal Stadium collapsed, injuring 23 labourers, five of whom are reported to be in a critical condition.”

While 23 of the injured are being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), another four were taken to the Safdurjung Hospital.

“Four of the labourers are critical. Two have suffered grievous head injuries and are battling for their lives. One of them is suffering from a deep neck and abdominal injury. The condition of the other two with chest injuries has improved,” said M.C. Mishra, Chief Medical Officer of the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

The condition of the labourers taken to Safdarjung Hospital is now stable.

“The patients are stable now, none of them are critical,” the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Ranjan Kumar Wadhwa told IANS.

Admitted to the orthopaedic department, they injured are reported to have suffered multiple fractures.

According to Delhi Public Works Department Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, the bridge collapsed as “a rod was being rested on a grid but a clip slipped… resulting in the bridge collapsing.”

“We have called a high level meeting to ascertain what led to the incident and fix the responsibility of defaulters. Those guilty will be punished,” Chauhan told IANS.

“The bridge was constructed by Hyderabad-based PNR Infra at a cost of Rs.5 crore (Rs.50 million/$1 million). Construction was to be completed in two-three days,” he added.

Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, meanwhile, assured that the overbridge would be completed within next 10 days.

The accident happened on the day when Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Michael Fennell said that parts of the Games Village were still not fit for accommodation.

The New Zealand and Scotland contingents have already expressed their concerns over the Games.

Some 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories are expected to participate in the Games, India’s biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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