Less than two months after a major mishap on the partially-completed Eastern Freeway,a concrete slab collapsed at the construction site of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro opposite Leela Business Centre in Andheri at about 4 pm on Tuesday,killing a labourer and injuring at least 11.
The slab was being concretized as part of a foot over-bridge being built to connect the under-construction Airport Road Metro station to an escalator.
Some labourers were working on the concrete slab. Suddenly,we heard a loud noise. We rushed out and saw that the slab had collapsed and labourers were trapped under the debris. Thankfully,they had shut the footpath under the construction site. Otherwise,the disaster would have been worse, said Ashok Durawade,a worker at a petrol pump nearby.
A senior official said the scaffholding supporting the slab might have slipped due to incessant rain.
This is the fifth accident on Metro construction sites ever since the work began in February 2008. In 2008,a piling rig had collpased killing one. In 2009,a metal scaffholding came crashing down injuring two workers. Last year,two children fell in a pit dug at a Metro site and died,while earlier this year a crane fell on the compound wall of Sarvodaya Hospital.
Two cranes and three JCB machines were deployed and rescue operations were started within an hour of Tuesdays mishap. Officials from Hindustan Construction Company (HCC),which has been sub-contracted construction of a few stations on the line,rushed to the site to aid rescue. Fire brigade personnel from Andheri,Vile Parle and Marol also reached soon.
Police organized the huge crowd of onlookers gathered around the accident site to form human barriers so as to not disturb rescue. Seven workers stuck under the debris were pulled out and rushed to Seven Hills Hospital at Marol. One of the seven was,however,declared dead on arrival. Five other injured were taken to Cooper Hospital.
Two workers were critically injured and had to be operated upon. One has sustained a spinal injury,while genitals of the other have been severely damaged. The remaning workers have received minor injuries, said Dr. Hemlata Arora,medical director at Seven Hills.
All the injured taken to Cooper Hospital were reported to be stable. Most of the patients have broken bones, said Dr. Shashikant Wadekar,medical superintendent at Cooper Hospital.
The Sahar police have registered a case against HCC under sections 304A (causing death due to negligence),337 (causing hurt) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life and personal safety of others). However,they have not made any arrests.