CUTTACK: In a tragic incident, a worker died and another sustained injuries after a portion of a wall of an abandoned house accidentally collapsed on them during drain renovation work being undertaken by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) here on Thursday.The deceased has been identified as Puspak Kumar Rao (52) of Kerala. The injured man, Mota Singh Ali (42), has been admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital and his condition is stated to be critical.
Sources said the drain renovation work was undertaken by Tantia Constructions Limited on sublease basis from JICA, at Buxi Bazar Patapola (Barapathar) area. Rao and Ali were engaged in welding work inside the dugout drain when the mishap occurred at about 4.30 pm. A portion of the brick wall of an abandoned house, located adjacent to the drain, caved in.
“We rushed to the spot after hearing the sound of wall collapse and started rescue operation,” said secretary, Patapola Mochi Sahi, K Ravi Kumar Rao, an eyewitness. Though Ali was rescued successfully, we could not save Puspak, who was buried under 7 to 8 ft deep mud.Puspak’s body was retrieved by fire brigade personnel after some locals removed the brick wall from the drain. While locals alleged that the mishap occurred due to lack of adequate safety measures, the authority of Tantia Constructions Limited clarified that precautionary and safety measures were put in place at the work site.“We have informed families of the deceased as well as the injured workers and steps are being taken to compensate them adequately,” the construction company said.