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Sunday, November 25, 2012
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4 die as flyover girders fall in Ctg

People try to rescue those trapped under the collapsed girders of the under-construction flyover at Bahaddarhat in Chittagong city last night. Angry locals also torched, inset, the makeshift sheds of the flyover workers. This is the second time the flyover's girders collapsed this year. Photo: Prabir Das

At least four people died and 15 were injured when the concrete girders of the under-construction flyover at Bahaddarhat in Chittagong collapsed on a kitchen market yesterday.

Over 5,000 locals staged a violent protest there as it was the second girder collapse this year. The mob went on a rampage and torched several vehicles and vandalised a police outpost.

Three bodies were pulled out of the debris and one person died in the hospital.

The identities of the deceased could not be known immediately.

Zahirul Islam, a sub-inspector, said at least 15 people were trapped under the girders and 13 of them had been rescued and sent to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Police said Md Mamun, 20, Md Russell, 20, Omar Faruk, 20, Sohel, 35, Hafiful Miah, 16, Shahabuddin, 20, Najma Begum, 21, and Ripan Dhar, 23, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital. They said five other injured people could not be identified.

Sources said there were more people trapped under the girders and rescue operations were going on as this report was being filed at 1:30am today. They feared the death toll might rise.

Eyewitnesses said at around 8:00pm three concrete girders of the flyover fell on some people, mostly vegetable vendors of the kitchen market.

Rescue operations had to be suspended as locals staged a violent protest soon after the incident. They blocked fire engines from reaching the spot and vandalised two of the vehicles, said Ruhul Amin, deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defence.

The demonstrators also torched 10 motorbikes, six owned by policemen, and makeshift camps of the flyover construction workers.

The agitators ransacked Bahaddarhat Police Outpost and got involved in running battles with the police.

Eyewitnesses claimed that the mob also attacked the vehicle of Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mannan at 9:00pm.

Police charged truncheons and fired around 30 teargas canisters to disperse the mob, said sources.

Abdul Mannan, deputy commissioner of Chittagong, said he had asked for the army's help with cranes and two army cranes had gone to the spot.

However, sources said army personnel with the cranes reached the spot but could not begin rescue operations immediately as they were busy trying to get the mob under control.

Meanwhile, a wall of the Bahaddarhat mosque collapsed on the mob, injuring at least 10 people. The injured were rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

On June 29, a concrete girder of the flyover fell on the road below, slightly injuring a rickshaw-puller. Luckily, the accident happened on a Friday during Juma prayer time when the road was almost empty.

The Chittagong Development Authority is constructing the flyover at a cost of Tk 106 crore. The construction work of the four-lane flyover began in December 2010.

Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Amin at the spot told journalists that the accident might have happened owing to a technical fault but a proper investigation would reveal everything.

Chittagong City Corporation Mayor M Monjur Alam also visited the spot.

Former Chittagong City Corporation mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury at the spot demanded punishment for everyone, including Chittagong Development Authority Chairman Abdus Salam, as they were responsible for such negligence.

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar, Rab, armoured police and the army got the situation under control at around 10:00pm and resumed rescue operations.

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It is an unsafe act creating an unsafe condition for construction areas. All construction area access must have restricted access. These accesses should remain free for authorized employees only. Those people that are running kitchen market in and around construction areas are inviting trouble for themselves and the consumers. Authorities need to take immediate action to put a full stop to such unsafe practices.

: Maurice Peterson

What a pathetic event!

: Aziz

Comments

  • Anis Sabeth
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 06:12 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    This is not fist time; everywhere corruption and politics. It is accused that the work of the flyover was given to AL activists.

  • Ali
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 07:30 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    This is a glaring example how low our morals have fallen during the past couple of years. This is as a result of cheating, from using very low quality products and much less than is required. There has to be a technical survey/investigation on all road and flyover constructions to avoid any further disasters on greater magnitude.

  • z hossain
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 09:16 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    We fail to understand why action was not taken when the first girder fell three months ago? This is a unique case of total disregard for public concern and safety, corruption, lack of professionalism. It demonstrates that CDA lacks the professional ability to design, supervise or manage projects of such scale. This and other fly over projects are not part of the total list of priority or essential projects for Chittagong as listed in the current Chittagong Metropolitan Master Plan. It is a whimsical project and at no time did we get a feasibility report. CDA wants to transform Chittagong into Malaysia! We wonder how it can be done without the institutional capacity to do so.

  • z hossain
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 09:21 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Crowd behavior was shocking. Why should they vandalize police boxes, personal and vehicles including fire brigade team to come near the site? They should have been the ones controlling the site and organising rescue operations.

  • Kazi Md. Mohsin
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:27 PM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Unexpected accident. Concern agencies should overcome this accident.

  • zaher
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:29 PM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Where will common people go?

  • iftekhar
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:50 PM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    We do not expect such regular mishaps in our city which took several lives. This could not be happened if the authority had taken precautions at the time of construction. I personally condemn the authority for this negligence and demand punishment for them as they are responsible.

  • Ferdous Ahmed
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 05:59 PM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    The people of Bangladesh will not accept any Investigation Committee with CDA Chairman Abdus Salam in the position. The Government needs to fire that semi-literate, unscrupulous and corrupt CDA Chairman first and then form a Judicial Enquiry Commission to look into the matter.

  • MONIR HOSSAIM
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:12 PM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Many countries has stopped employment visa to Bangladesh. kindly talk to about this problem. i am a foreman in my company in Dubai and our companies not given increment any Bangladesh man.but my companies bring many helper besic salary minimum 1200derhams from India.

  • john
    Monday, November 26, 2012 07:32 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Article keeps the name of the contractor & consultants out. for the second time!! this is beyond belief. immediate action for criminal negligence is must. we should sympathise with the people who have live & suffer from the neglect & corruption.

  • iftekhar chowdhury
    Monday, November 26, 2012 10:26 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    falling of concrete girders from under construction at bahardarhat flyover chittagong is really sad news of all ,so proper inquiry and heavy punishment who is responsible this fraud men ,its conductor,bidded ,and who is moral so low ,it public fund ,who have no idea construction of flyover ,so please do not so greedy avoiding public safety.

  • T Ahmed
    Monday, November 26, 2012 10:48 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    I wonder how the AL government still manages to show their face to the public. They should be ousted immediately. How low can they go? If they had an iota of humanity left in them, they would not have played with the safety of the general public who are struggling to make a living.Very sad to see Bangladesh government regressing rather than progressing. The rich will just continue to get richer at the expense of the poor.Shame on the people who elect corrupt leaders.


 

 


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