KOLKATA: Atleast one person was killed and dozens more were injured after a flyover being constructed in the middle of the city came crashing down on Thursday.
Officials fear many more may have died in what the State government called a monumental tragedy.
“I think at least 150 people are under the debris,” a witness said.
Television footage showed a bloody hand reaching out from under what appeared to be a massive girder. People were trying to hand bottles of water to survivors pinned underneath. Visuals also showed cars buried under the collapsed bridge.
The flyover was being constructed at Burrabazar, a busy area in central Kolkata near the famous Ganesh Talkies. It has been under construction since 2009, say reports, and has missed several deadlines for completion.
Firefighters and residents were trying with their bare hands to rescue those trapped under chunks of concrete and metal.
Army men and personnel of the National Disaster Response Force have been sent to reinforce rescue efforts.
“The condition is pathetic. At this moment no one has any clue how many people are trapped,” said Raichand Mohta, a police officer at the scene.
“We heard a loud rumble and then saw a lot of smoke,” said a resident of the teeming area.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo, one of the two BJP parliamentarians from Bengal, alleged that the flyover was not properly planned.
“It is complete callousness of the state government. How was the flyover planned in a residential area? It was touching the windows of houses. My aunt lives there,” Mr Supriyo told NDTV.
Several policemen are at the spot where a large crowd of people have gathered after the collapse.