A photo of the accident site at Kota.
A photo of the accident site at Kota.

6 workers killed, 40 feared trapped in Kota bridge collapse

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, December 25, 2009

At least six workers were killed and about 40 others feared trapped in the debris after a road bridge that was under construction on the Chambal river collapsed in Kota, Rajasthan yesterday evening.
District Collector T Ravikant told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene of the mishap that six bodies had been extricated from the debris by this afternoon and efforts were on to bring out those who were still trapped under the rubble.
He said rescue teams could see some of the workers under the mangled metal and concrete but the task of cutting through the rods and reaching them was taking time.
Army jawans were on hand to help the civil administration in the rescue efforts. The fact that a part of the bridge had fallen into the river, at a time when many workers were working on it, had made the task even more difficult.
A team of divers from the Indian Navy in Delhi and another from Ahmedabad had been called in to help in the rescue operations. Apart from the state and municipal officials, personnel of public sector units in and around Kota, including the Railways, were also helping the civil authorities.
The incident occurred around 1745 hours yesterday and rescue teams were rushed to the spot as soon as information was received. Three bodies were recovered yesterday and one of the seven injured succumbed to his injuries in hospital last night.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 10 lakhs to the next of kin of those killed in the incident and Rs 2 lakh for each of those injured.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who visited the spot today, had separately announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed in the accident, Rs 1 lakh for each of those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for each of those with minor injuries. He also visited the hospitals and met the injured people.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath has been in touch with Mr Gehlot over the incident since yesterday.
Mr Gehlot said said the incident was "unfortunate" and ordered an inquiry into the reasons that led to the collapse. He said the inquiry would be conducted by experts of the National Highways Authority of India and the Transport Ministry. He also said that action had been initiated against the officials of Gammon India and Hyundai, the companies responsible for the construction of the bridge.