An under-construction flyover collapsed near Ganesh Talkies in north Kolkata’s Girish Park area killed at least 18 people and injured 78 on Thursday. The Vivekananda Setu crashed on a moving traffic. Rescuers and authorities confirmed to media that there were many who are still trapped under the debris.
Rescue teams are working to pull out cars at the site of collapse. The place around the crash remained chaotic as Army personnel were deployed in large number, Firstpost correspondent from Kolkata, Sujanya said.
Several political leaders expressed their grief and support over the mishap. Here is what they had to say:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in touch with officials in Delhi and has instructed all possible assistance to be extended by Army and NDRF in rescue and relief operations, expressed shock and sadness over the loss of lives in the collapse.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told CNN-IBN:
This is a serious matter and case of gross negligence. Will take strong action against those responsible. We will take care of all the expenses of all the injured, we hope for their speedy recovery.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice-president:
Home Minister Rajnath Singh
K Panduranga Rao, a senior official of the IVRCL group, one of the builders of the bridge:
A girder must have been missed and another probably fell. It is nothing but God’s act. This has not happened to us in 27 years.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Rajya Sabha member:
This is a clear case of corruption, there should be a CBI inquiry into this,” ANI quoted Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as saying.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs:
It is a very sad news for us. NDRF teams have been dispatched. We will provide whatever support needed. State government is already doing whatever is necessary. Monetary requirements are not the priority right now, rescue and relief is. Any development projects need to incorporate disaster mitigation concept.
Basudeb Banerjee, Bengal chief secretary:
The state government will pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of every person who died and Rs 2 lakh for those who are injured.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress leader:
Urban development minister Firhad Hakim should be arrested immediately. The police came to the spot after a good two hours. Why? The rescue operation should have been started within an hour. We demand full investigation. People are dying like cats and dogs. We will go to the hospitals and our supporters will donate as much blood as required to treat the injured.
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports:
The MHA, disaster management agencies always take cognisance of such incidents. The central government has been forthcoming even in the past when there was a natural calamity like this.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Asok Bhattacharya, ex-Urban Development Minister and CPM leader
The present urban development minister has to shoulder responsibility. There should be a high-level inquiry.
Suhel Seth, author:
OP Singh, NDRF DG:
Our priority is that those who are alive under the debris should be rescued. All kinds of cutters are being used to make an entry. We dont have the death toll or information on how many are injured. 100 metres of the bridge have collapsed.