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24 Hours After Majerhat Bridge Collapse, Second Body Pulled Out of Rubble

Earlier in the day, Mamata Banerjee had confirmed that two persons were missing after the Majerhat bridge collapse on Tuesday.

News18.com

Updated:September 5, 2018, 7:57 PM IST
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24 Hours After Majerhat Bridge Collapse, Second Body Pulled Out of Rubble
Rescue and relief works in progress at the site of Majerhat Bridge collapse on Wednesday. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)
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Kolkata: Twenty-four hours after a portion of the Majerhat bridge in the heart of Kolkata collapsed on Tuesday, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that a second body has been pulled out of the rubble.

Earlier in the day, she had confirmed that two persons were missing after the major bridge collapse. One person had died on Tuesday while 21 others were injured.

The second person whose body was found on Wednesday has been identified as 21-year-old Metro construction worker, Pranab Dey, who hailed from Murshidabad district. The other deceased person has been identified as 27-year-old Soumendu Bag.

Banerjee, who arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday evening after her North Bengal tour, said operations to locate those who might still be trapped in the debris have been stepped up.

Confirming the second death after visiting the accident site, Banerjee said, “This could have turned out far worse as more lives could have been lost. It is because of the people's prayers that loss of lives are less.”

She added, "We are probing all angles behind the incident, no angle is less or more important for us."

A day after the accident, officials told PTI that the state-run engineering and consultancy agency RiTES had in 2016 warned the West Bengal government on the precarious condition of several bridges in the city, including the Majerhat structure but no action was taken.

The area near the site has been dug up for a Metro railway project and construction material is strewn all over the place.

Labourers working on the Metro project claimed two of their co-workers, who were probably inside a temporary shelter underneath the bridge, were missing.

The bridge in crowded Alipore area runs over the Majerhat Railway Station and connects the city centre with the heavily populated Behala, vast areas of the southwest suburbs and neighbouring South 24 Parganas district.

As rescuers escalated their efforts, thousands of people were stuck in jams around the accident site that connects major parts of south Kolkata.

The Kolkata Disaster Management Department, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the state fire department conducted search operations through the night, officials said.

The rescuers tried drilling the concrete slabs, used sophisticated cameras and engaged sniffer dogs to ensure anybody trapped under the rubble could be reached and rescued. The rain complicated the operation.

Additional lighting arrangements were made to aid rescue work at night, the officials said.

A mini bus, four cars and a few motorcycles that were damaged in the bridge collapse were removed using cranes, the official said.

BJP MP Roopa Ganguly, who visited the site Wednesday morning, held the Trinamool Congress-led state government responsible for the collapse and alleged that the bridge was not maintained properly.

The chief minister has said a committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De will investigate the cause of the collapse.

This is a third bridge collapse in the city since 2013.

A flyover under construction collapsed in crowded Burrabazar area, the wholesale business hub of the city, on March 31, 2016, claiming 26 lives.

On March 4, 2013, a road bridge had collapsed in Ultadanga area in the northern part of the city. There were no casualties.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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