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Faulty Installation of Poles, Equipment Led to Tent Mishap at PM Modi’s Event in Midnapore: Forensics

On Monday, one of the tents at PM Modi’s ‘Kisan Sabha’ caved in, leaving 90 injured. The incident took place around 1 pm when thousands of people had gathered at the Midnapore College ground for the PM's speech.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 17, 2018, 9:04 PM IST
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Faulty Installation of Poles, Equipment Led to Tent Mishap at PM Modi’s Event in Midnapore: Forensics
Initial investigations revealed that some of the iron frames used for setting up the tent were rusty, which led to the collapse. (Photo: PTI)
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Kolkata: Shallow digging of iron poles during installation and inferior quality of pipes were the primary reasons that led to the collapse of a makeshift tent at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in West Bengal on Monday, forensic experts who visited the site have revealed.

On Monday, one of the tents at PM Modi’s ‘Kisan Sabha’ caved in, leaving 90 injured. The incident took place around 1 pm when thousands of people had gathered at the Midnapore College ground for the PM's speech.

Early on Tuesday morning, a team of senior police officers led by Siddhi Nath Gupta and experts from Sate Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) inspected the site in West Midnapore and collected samples for further examination.

Chitrarath Sarkar, head of Physics at SFSL, said, “We observed that installation of the makeshift tent was poorly done. The decorator dug shallow holes to erect the iron poles. Also, there was a casual approach in bolting the iron pipes. We noticed that instead of applying four bolts in the joiners, the decorator used single bolts. This weakened the structure.”

He added that the rusty and inferior quality of iron poles and water pockets atop the tent contributed to the collapsing of the tent.

“The tent became heavy due to rains and it added additional pressure on the already weak structure and ultimately led to the collapse,” he said.

Officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, PM’s security officials, including Special Police Group (SPG), visited the spot on Tuesday. The district police have lodged a complaint against the Kolkata-based decorator who was given the responsibility to erect the makeshift tents at Midnapore.

The development comes a day after the home ministry sought a report from the West Bengal government about the mishap.

Sensing that the accident could have led to a stampede, PM Modi stopped his speech in between and asked people not to panic and directed the security personnel to help in the rescue efforts.

Later in the day, Modi visited the Midnapore Hospital were most of the injured persons were admitted and met many of them.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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