Kolkata Tragedy: Police File Homicide Case After Flyover Collapse Kills 23

02/04/2016 8:24 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
KOLKATA, INDIA - APRIL 1: NDRF and Civil Defence Rescue teams clearing the debris of an under construction flyover collapsed on Vivekananda road on April 1, 2016 in Kolkata, India. At least 25 people were killed and over 60 others are reported injured as the flyover, which was still under construction, collapsed. (Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

KOLKATA -- Police on Friday opened a case of culpable homicide against the company that had been building a flyover which collapsed in Kolkata, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens.

Rescuers with cranes and jackhammers struggled on Friday to clear shattered concrete slabs and twisted girders from the 100-metre (110-yard) length of the flyover that on Thursday crashed down on pedestrians and vehicles in a road below.

Over 100 people have been rescued, many with serious injuries, but chances of finding more survivors dwindled after authorities removed crushed cars and a bus from the rubble in a teeming commercial district near the city's Girish Park.

ALSO READ: Terrifying Footage Of Kolkata Flyover Collapse

"It is being ensured that there are no more dead bodies under the debris," S.S. Guleria, deputy inspector general of the National Disaster Response Force, told Reuters Television.

Television channels broadcast images of autorickshaws and a crowd of people suddenly obliterated by a mass of falling concrete.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose centre-left party is seeking re-election soon in the state of West Bengal, said those responsible would not be spared and blamed the previous state government, which awarded the flyover contract in 2007.

But she herself faces questions about the project.

ALSO READ: Kolkata Flyover Tragedy: Builder Calls It 'An Act Of God'

The Telegraph newspaper reported in November that Banerjee had wanted the flyover - already five years overdue - to be completed by February. Project engineers expressed concerns over whether this would be possible, the Telegraph said at the time.

The disaster could play a role in the election in West Bengal, whose capital is Kolkata. It is one of five approaching polls that will give an interim verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly two years in power.

Indian company IVRCL had been building the 2-km (1.2-mile) Vivekananda Road flyover, according to its website. Its shares closed down 11.7 percent in Mumbai trading on Friday as police announced they had opened a case of culpable homicide.

Police detained seven employees of the company, interviewed bosses at its headquarters in the southern city of Hyderabad and sealed its offices, police said.

ALSO READ: These Pictures Capture The Terror And Chaos At The Kolkata Bridge Collapse Site

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