KOLKATA, India, March 31 (UPI) — At least 15 people are dead and dozens remain missing after an elevated highway under construction collapsed in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.
K. Panduranga Rao, an official with the Indian-based construction company IVRCL, said the collapse in the city formerly known as Calcutta was “God’s act.” IVRCL has been building the bridge since 2009. Among the dozens of people still missing are two IVRCL engineers
“It is nothing but God’s act,” he said. “So far in 27 years, we have constructed a number of bridges and it has never happened. As a company, we are also in shock.”
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Witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion and then a crash of twisted steel and concrete. Images and video from the scene show residents trying to help in the rescue efforts. A fire was sparked by spilled fuel.
The Vivekananda Road flyover is a Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority construction project which was nearing completion. It was intended to move vehicles and pedestrians through the congested business district in Burrabazar-Posta.