Delhi: Excavator operator dies as portion of under-construction flyover collapses, 2 held

A 35-year-old excavator operator died on Wednesday when a portion of an under-construction flyover near National Highway-48 in southwest Delhi collapsed and fell on the heavy vehicle, police said.

The incident took place in Smalkha, Kapeshera, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) Manoj C said, adding two persons, including site supervisor Injmam Hussain (30) and site manager Rohit (35), have been arrested.

The elevated portion of the Dwarka Expressway link road is under construction at the site, he said. The DCP said victim Shakeel of Bharatpur, Rajasthan, was driving the excavator which was crushed under the debris. A case under relevant provisions of the law has been registered.

Later, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said a three-member team of bridge experts has been constituted to look into the incident. The fire department said information about the incident was received around 10 am, following which three fire tenders were rushed to the spot

Talking to reporters here, Dharmendra Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of Parbata Police Station, said: “After the recovery of the body on Tuesday, family members of Vibhash Kumar were immediately informed. His uncle, Ramvilasa Yadav, and other family members identified the body of Kumar. Later, the body was sent for a post-mortem examination.”

Kumar died in the bridge collapse and his body was swept away by water currents. A section of an under-construction bridge, known as the Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge, over the Ganga river collapsed in the Bhagalpur district on June 4. This bridge was being built to connect Bhagalpur and Khagaria. A day after the collapse, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that strict action would be taken against those found guilty.

“The bridge that collapsed had also collapsed last year. It is not being constructed properly that is the reason it collapsed twice since April 2022,” the CM had told reporters.

Immediately after the incident, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who also holds the portfolio of the Road Construction department, had said that the state government was anyway planning to demolish the under-construction bridge because of structural flaws.

“A portion of this bridge had collapsed on April 30 last year. We had, thereafter, approached IIT-Roorkee, which is known for its expertise in construction matters, to conduct a study. It is yet to come up with a final report but experts who had studied the structure had informed us that there were serious defects,” Yadav had said.

The Haryana-based company, which was awarded the contract, has already been served with a show cause notice by the Managing Director of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam and asked to reply within 15 days following the incident. The department also suspended the executive engineer concerned for his failure to keep an eye on the quality of the work.

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