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Kota bridge collapse: 50 workers still missing

December 26, 2009 14:32 IST

Rescuers on Saturday continued to search for 50 missing victims, after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Chambal river in Kota on Friday, killing nine persons.

A rescue team comprising 200 labourers, 200 policemen, 50 officials, 80 army jawans, 20 experts from calamity relief management of Gujarat besides six naval divers are engaged in the rescue work to find those missing including an engineer working with Hyundai.

In a related development, two officials arrested in connection with the mishap -- J R Ryu, chief project manager of Hyundai, and R Chattopadhya, project manager of Gammon -- will be produced in court today.

The Kota police had registered a case against 14 officials of Gammon and Hyundai in connection with the incident. The removal of debris was halted last evening as a portion of the bridge was tilting and posed a threat to the ongoing rescue work, Divisional Commissioner P L Agarwal said.

Minister of State for Road Transport Mahadev Singh Khandela, who visited the site on Friday, said the guilty party, whether Gammon or Hyundai, would be blacklisted if a joint probe by NHAI and the state government finds any deficiency on their part.

Khandela said the construction of the bridge was running almost a year behind schedule, and the company was in a haste to complete the task.

The construction company engaged in the work has given a list of 45 labourers, of which 32 were still missing, he said. Besides the 45 labourers mentioned in the list, some other workers hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Punjab were working at the site, according to eye witnesses.

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