KOCHI: A portion of the under-construction Cochin Cancer Research Centre at Kalamassery collapsed on Monday evening, injuring six workers. Around 1,000 sq ft of the constructed portion came crashing down around 8pm, and nearby residents said the contractor tried to cover up the incident by denying people access to the accident site.
Kalamassery CI P Sreekumar said six persons were admitted to the Medical College Hospital, of whom three had only minor injuries. The other three were discharged. “As per the information given to us by the project coordinator, no other employees are stuck under the building,” he added.Dr Sanil Kumar, a member of the Justice V R Krishna Iyer Movement, which has been campaigning for a high-quality cancer research centre, told TNIE that the incident was “unfortunate”.
A highly reputed and credible institution like HSSC (Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation) was replaced with INKEL, which is yet to construct even a single structure, for the construction of the cancer research centre. It should be blamed for the current situation, he said.The construction of the cancer centre, which is coming up at the Government Medical College, Kalamassery, has long been criticised by the Krishna Iyer Movement for the poor quality of work.
Pramod, a nearby resident, said the contractors tried to block local residents from entering the accident site, in a move to cover up the accident in the cover of darkness. “Six workers were injured, but none of them is in a serious condition. Actually, the accident happened around 7pm or even earlier, but the contractor did not inform anyone. They brought JCB (earth movers) and were clearing the site. We forcibly entered the area and informed the police. That’s how the accident was brought to light,” he said.