New Delhi: Five people were killed and 14 injured when an underconstruction bridge of the Delhi Metro collapsed in south Delhi early on Sunday, officials said. The accident took place at around 5 am at the Metro construction site at Zamroodpur near Amar Colony.
'Five people have died. Of them - three were among the 15 workers who were taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre and the other two are still trapped under debris,' Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) spokesperson Anuj Dayal told reporters here.
The three have been identified as Ansuman, a site engineer and construction workers Niranjan and Badan Singh, while two others at AIIMS are in a critical condition, Dayal said.
The bridge was on the Central Secretariat to Badarpur corridor of the Delhi Metro which was slated to be completed by September 2010.
'The incident took place between pillars 66 and 67 when the pillar cap was affected. Ten segments were to be erected on the stretch of which five had been completed. When the sixth segment was being erected, the launching girder collapsed due to disbalance causing a portion of the bridge to fall,' Dayal explained.
Thirty workers of Gammon India Ltd, DMRC's contractor at the site, were present of which 20 have been affected, Dayal said. Many of the injured were also taken to the nearby Moolchand Hospital and the Safdurjang hospital.
Construction site workers alleged that the pillars on which the bridge was to be hoisted were faulty. 'There were cracks in the pillar and we had warned the contractor and officials - but they paid no heed,' said a construction labourer.
Said Balwinder Singh, a policemen facilitating rescue operations: 'We have removed 16 people from the debris and they have been taken to hospital. Three people are still buried in the rubble - they were responding to us till 9.15 a.m. But now they are dead.'
Mayor Kanwar Sain was present at the site and said: 'The Delhi Metro projects are going at a fast pace and the quality of work is being compromised. An enquiry is necessary.'
Sushil Choudhury, a resident of Vikram Vihar, adjacent to the construction site said that residents of the area were alarmed by the accident. 'I own a shop metres away from the spot - one miss and everything would have crashed down. I have doubts about how the Delhi Metro works now,' said Chowdhury, a former MLA of the area.
Dayal said the rescue operations are being monitored by a team of 100 DMRC engineers and DMRC managing director E. Sreedharan was on his way from Bangalore. 'He will be visiting the site. Investigations are on,' he said.
A Delhi Jal Board water supply pipe has also burst, swamping the area in ankle to knee deep water.
'We have also temporarily disconnected the electricity lines in the area. Traffic has been diverted at the Kailash Colony market, Amar Colony, the nearby Lady Sri Ram College and Blue Bells School till 6.00 am on Monday,' Dayal said
Rescue operations are underway and six cranes as well as gas cutter machines have been put into use to get through the debris. DMRC was scheduled to complete the 190-km Phase II of the Delhi Metro by October 2010 and construction was on in full swing to ensure that deadlines were met.