The death toll in Majerhat bridge in Kolkata touched three on Thursday after one more body was recovered from the debris of the over 50-year-old flyover which collapsed on Tuesday. While one body was recovered on Tuesday itself, another person was found dead on Wednesday evening as NDRF and local authorities removed big chunks of concrete. Over 24 peopl were injured in the bridge collapse.
The identity of the third deceased is yet to be ascertained. The other two killed in the incident have been identified as Pranab Dey (24) of Murshidabad and Soumen Bag.
A part of the 50-year-old bridge on the arterial Diamond Harbour Road caved in on Tuesday evening trapping several people and crushing many vehicles.
Police and NDRF personnel continued their rescue work at the accident site with cranes, earthmovers and drilling machines to two days.
"It may take another two days to cut through the concrete slabs. The people engaged in the work are trying hard to cut them," said Meeraj Khalid, DC South, Kolkata Police.
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"It is God's grace that many people were not killed," West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, adding a committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De will investigate the cause of the collapse.
She said the police and administration have done well in carrying out the rescue work and an emergency meeting has been convened on Thursday to take stock of the situation.
She said papers of old bridges were not available. "Still we are trying to conduct regular survey of those bridges with available technical experts," she said, adding work by Metro Railways in the area during the past nine years had caused vibration and resulted in many problems there.
The area near the site had been dug up for a Metro Rail project and construction material is strewn all over the place.
Opposition parties in the state have alleged that the Trinamool Congress government's "callousness" towards the repair of old bridges was the main reason behind the collapse.
(With inputs from agencies)