A portion of an under-construction flyover on National Highway-28 (NH-28) collapsed in Phutariya area of Basti district leaving three workers injured, on Saturday morning. The injured are out of danger.
Till the time of filing this report, no FIR has been registered in the case. Principal Secretary (information) Awanish Awasthi said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will investigate and submit the report to the concerned ministry in the matter.
The incident comes three months after a similar incident in Varanasi that left 18 dead.
A Hyderabad-based private company is responsible for the construction of the Basti flyover, located in an accident prone’ area at Phutaiya crossing, under direct supervision of Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Around 60-70 per cent construction work at the bridge was completed when the incident took place, confirmed the district administration. The collapse may have been triggered due to an accident the previous night that weakened the flyover’s shuttering.
“The incident took place at around 7.25 am. Our team rushed to the spot soon after. We found that around 40-50 metre portion in the middle of the flyover had collapsed and its shuttering too had collapsed. We rescued three workers traped under the debris. While two of them suffered minor injuries and were discharged after first aid, the third is admitted in hospital,” said SP Dileep Kumar.
He identified the three as Dharmendra (30) of Deoria and Suresh (35) and Pradeep (23) of Bihar.
“Generally, at least 30-35 labourers work at the site overnight till 8 am. But today only three workers were present there. State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) also reached the spot and ensured that no one else was trapped under the debris,” he added.
Commissioner (Basti division) Alka Tandon told The Sunday Express that the NHAI project manager informed her about the weakening of the shuttering. “Officials from the NHAI said the project was at a critical stage – strengthening the structure. A shuttering was placed contain the concrete. It seems some heavy vehicle hit the shuttering at night, weakening.”
“On July 24, the district magistrate had visited the site along with PWD officials and had instructed the officials to take precautions after finding that some safety norms were being violated,” she added.
After the incident, local BJP MP Harish Dwivedi wrote to the district magistrate, chief minister and Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requesting a high-level inquiry and strict action against those responsible.