Looking back Collapse evokes memories of past mishaps across nation

Aug 31, 2019 kgpatmos

first_imgKOLKATA: A portion of the extremely busy Majerhat Bridge collapsed on Tuesday with the extent of the damage yet to be determined, triggering shock and panic across the city.Several people are feared trapped under the debris as rescue operation is underway. The incident has brought back frightening memories of similar bridge collapses in Bengal and in India in which hundreds have either lost their lives or gone missing. Here are a few such cases: Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe 140-year-old Kadalundi bridge collapse claimed 57 lives in 2001. In the wee hours on March 31, 2016, in Kolkata, the Vivekananda Flyover collapsed leading to 27 deaths and over 80 people being injured. The century-old Savitri River bridge in Maharashtra collapsed in the same year within a few months, claiming 28 lives. Interestingly, the collapse of the partially completed Vivekananda Flyover was the second such incident in Kolkata since 2013, when a 60-metre long chunk of a flyover in Ultadanga area collapsed under the weight of a goods truck, killing one and injuring three others. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedVaranasi in Uttar Pradesh saw a rerun of the Vivekananda Flyover tragedy in May this year, as a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed, killing at least 18 people. Even the cited reason — a loose cross-beam or failed bearing, bore an eerie similarity to the incident in the city in 2016, where inherent design flaws were the culprit. At Rafiganj, a rail bridge collapsed on September 10, 2002, killing as many as 130 people. On October 29, 2005, 114 people lost their lives in the Veligonda Railway Bridge collapse, near Hyderabad. A flash flood swept away a small rail bridge, and a “Delta Fast Passenger” train travelling on it derailed at the broken section of the line, killing at least 114 people and injuring over 200. A pedestrian bridge in Bhagalpur collapsed in December 2006, killing around 30 people. The flyover bridge Panjagutta in Hyderabad caved in on September 9, 2007, which claimed 20 lives. On December 25, 2009, the Kota Chambal Bridge in Rajasthan collapsed, killing around 9 with 45 missing. The list of the above-mentioned mishaps begs the question as to why and how the apparently sturdy structures met their unfortunate fate. The reasons cited for each of the incidents indicate a deeper underlying malaise that ails such flyovers in India. Subpar quality of construction materials and lack of timely supervision are obvious culprits but the issues like rampant finger-pointing and improper and hasty planning and construction are equally responsible. Weakened girders or support beams are often overlooked or neglected during routine checks. Most of the flyovers in the nation also carry enormous traffic loads during peak hours, which exceed the carrying capacity of the structures at times, leading to gradual weakening of support pillars or cross beams. The reasons behind Tuesday’s mishap are yet to be determined. Senior civil engineers and key government officials are visiting the spot to determine the primary cause behind the fate of the structure, which is over 40 years old. It is important to note that the traffic load on the flyover remains exceedingly high almost throughout the day on weekdays, with several heavy goods vehicles plying at night.last_img

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