Four workers were killed and five injured after a section of the scaffolding collapsed at an under-construction multi-storey building in Noida’s Sector 94 Sunday morning. The incident took place at 10 am.
According to police, the incident seemed to have occurred because a tractor-trolley, used for loading and unloading material, accidentally backed into the scaffolding. “The entire scaffolding structure fell, bringing the workers down with it. It fell on the tractor and crushed the driver, who died due to the impact,” said SHO Sector 39 police station Amit Kumar Singh.
The injured were rushed to various hospitals by supervisors and foremen at the site.
The 18-storey building is a commercial project called ‘Capital City’ by real estate group BPTP. Work had begun in 2011 and was stalled in the middle. It resumed again around seven months ago through Ahluwalia Contracts (India) Limited. Currently, work on the external structure was being undertaken.
Police said an FIR has been filed against Ahluwalia Contracts at Sector 39 police station for causing death due to negligence. “There definitely would have been some safety lapses. If the structure was sturdy enough, it wouldn’t have collapsed in this manner,” said SHO Singh.
However, Manoj Kumar, Manager (Legal) of Ahluwalia Contracts, said, “All requisite safety equipment was at the site; this is not a question of a safety lapse. The accident took place because of the carelessness of the tractor-trolley driver. The very base of the scaffolding was shaken because of the collision.”
At the site, the scaffolding — made of interlinked iron pipes — of an entire section lay in a pile on the ground.
“I was working on the 11th storey in another section. I couldn’t see what caused the accident, but I saw the entire structure fall from top to bottom… All of us went rushing down to find out if any of our own were injured,” said Guddu, aunt of Vijaypal (25) — one of the deceased.
Eight members of Vijaypal’s family, originally from Badaun district, including his parents, work as labourers at the project. Like the other workers, the family lives in a makeshift settlement next to the site. According to Rambati, his mother, they earn Rs 350 per day for 12 hours of labour.
The first recorded death was of Naushad (28), the tractor-trolley driver on whom the scaffolding collapsed. According to his father Nuruddin, he lived in Noida’s Haldoni village and had been working on the project for around a year.
Later, it was declared that Vijaypal, Ashok from Bihar’s Purnia district and Karan from Bareilly district also succumbed to injuries. The injured workers are Mahesh, Ajay, Shadab, Nisarul and Ram Jai Kumar. The deceased and injured are migrant labourers who had been working on the project for a few months.
Pawan Yadav, a mason who has been working at the site for 15 days, alleged that the accident was due to negligence: “The pins that hold the scaffolding to the building were removed during the process of attaching glass. This caused the scaffolding to become unstable.”
City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra said that the families of the dead will receive compensation in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act.