Saturday, December 26, 2009

9 die in Kota bridge collapse, 45 still missing

In a tragic accident in Rajasthan on Thursday nine workers died and many were injured after an under-construction hanging bridge on the Chambal river collapsed.

More than 24 hours after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Kota, nearly 45 migrant workers are still missing.

Personnel of the Indian Army and local administration are battling on with their rescue mission.

But chances of the trapped workers' surviving are getting slimmer by the hour as the bridge was being built over a river.

"We are worried about the rescue operation as the river is very deep. When the operation is successful, families can come to claim the bodies," said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Gammon India, that was behind the Metro bridge that collapsed in Delhi earlier this year, was building the bridge.

Gammon India along with Hyundai was to complete the bridge, being built at a cost of Rs 225 crore, by 2011.

Two officials of Gammon India and Hyundai have now been arrested for causing death due to criminal negligence.

Meanwhile, the politics over the accident has already begun.

"The government cannot shrug off responsibility for the incident. It should have kept tabs on how the work was going on. They should not have given permission to a company with a record of accidents to build the bridge," said former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

The Rajasthan government has constituted a three-member committee to look into the matter.

While the Centre has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the dead to be given by the contractor companies, the state government has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the dead and Rs 1 lakh for those injured.

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