BHUBANESWAR:The ill-fated Bomikhal flyover, which had collapsed last September, returned to news after a worker was crushed under a huge frame of iron bars which crumbled at the construction site on Thursday evening. Another labourer is battling for life at a private hospital after suffering serious injuries.
The mishap took place right in front of Santoshi Maa temple along the Cuttack-Puri Road when the iron frame, to be used for a retaining wall, collapsed. The structure was being erected without adequate support as a result of which it could not carry the weight and fell on almost half a dozen workers present on the site.
Two of the workers were trapped under the frame weighing several hundred kgs. Locals rushed to the spot and rescued them before the fire fighters and police reached the spot. The injured workers were rushed to Capital Hospital where one succumbed. He was identified as Ajay Bhumich, a native of Sundargarh’s Lathikata. The other worker, Anand Kumar Nayak, was shifted to a private hospital in critical condition.
The incident led to tension as locals staged a road blockade demanding action against the contractor firm Panda Infraprojects Pvt Ltd which was executing the work. Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahoo rushed to the spot.
Last year on September 10, a concrete slab had fallen off the flyover which killed a businessman and injured 20 others. The Works Department had cancelled the licence of Panda Infraprojects and blacklisted the firm.
However, it was again asked to complete the work since the project was running behind schedule. With the incident raising issues of structural as well as workers’ safety, the contractor has again come under scanner with locals demanding arrest of its top management.
The State Government, which had come under tremendous pressure after last year’s mishap, had suspended an executive engineer, an SDO and a junior engineer for gross negligence leading to the incident. Of the three, two were even arrested before being released on bail. All three have been re-instated again. The investigation report, ordered by the Works Department, is yet to be made public.
Two top executives of Panda Infra were also arrested in connection with the flyover collapse.Though the project has been mired in controversy, an Executive Engineer who oversees national highway was put in additional charge of this project by the Works Department.Collector Nirmal Mishra said a technical inquiry would be conducted into the incident before action is initiated. Mayor Ananta Narayn Jena visited Capital Hospital.