Death toll rises in Kolkata collapse

  • 01/04/2016
The collapsed overpass in Kolkata (Reuters)
The collapsed overpass in Kolkata (Reuters)

Twenty-two people have been confirmed dead and 78 injured after a piece of a highway overpass collapsed in Kolkata, India.

A desperate rescue operation is underway where the 100 metre-long section of a flyover under construction collapsed onto traffic and street vendors.

Authorities in Kolkata fear more than 100 people may be trapped under the wreckage.

Residents on Thursday used their bare hands to try to rescue people pinned under a 100 metre length of metal and cement that snapped off at one end and came crashing down in a teeming commercial district near Girish Park.

"The concrete had been laid last night at this part of the bridge," resident Ramesh Kejriwal told Reuters.

"I am lucky as I was planning to go downstairs to have juice. When I was thinking about it, I saw that the bridge had collapsed."

Video footage aired on TV channels showed a street scene with two motorised rickshaws and a crowd of people suddenly obliterated by a mass of falling concrete that narrowly missed cars crawling in a traffic jam.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose centre-left party is seeking re-election in the state of West Bengal next month, rushed to the scene.

"We will take every action to save lives of those trapped beneath the collapsed flyover. Rescue is our top priority," she said.

Newshub. / Reuters