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Now, rescue cranes topple at Delhi Metro site

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: July 13, 2009 14:30 IST
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In the second mishap in as many days, six persons were on Monday injured when cranes carrying out debris clearance operation at the site of the metro accident collapsed. The incident comes a day after six persons were killed when an under-construction bridge of the Delhi Metro gave way at South Delhi's Jamrudpur.

Metro authorities said a mechanical fault had caused the crane mishap and heavier cranes would be used from now on.

Metro chief E Sreedharan, who had resigned on Sunday taking moral responsibility for the accident, reached the site for the second time in the day after the mishap.

Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences trauma centre said six persons were brought to the hospital from the accident site with minor injuries. However, DMRC officials said no one was hurt.

Four cranes were launching the girder when one of them malfunctioned, apparently leading to the transfer of load to the others. The officials said the crane operators miscalculated the weight of the launcher and this led to the accident. The police have cordoned off the site.

The launcher also collapsed, along with the two cranes, when its wires snapped, eyewitnesses said. Workers carrying the clearance operations were seen running to safety when the cranes came down.

Rains had hampered clearing operations at the site on Sunday night, where huge cranes are being used to clear the debris. Water supply in neighbouring areas has been also disrupted as the pillar fell on a water pipeline.

Traffic continued to be disrupted in the busy Nehru Place area and police have advised people to avoid the Zamrudpur-Lady Shri Ram college route.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday said that action in the Jamrudpur mishap will be taken after the probe panel submits its report.


"He (Sreedharan) has agreed to continue (as Metro managing director). We had requested him to continue," Dikshit told reporters. She said the entire issue had been discussed with her cabinet and the report was being awaited.


Soon after the incident, in which six persons were killed and 15 injured, the Delhi Metro had constituted a four-member panel to inquire into the reason behind the collapse of the half-constructed bridge. The panel will submit its report within ten days.


On being asked if the government would set up a separate probe panel, she said, "There is no need for a separate committee. The DMRC is a responsible body. We don't interfere in their work. The panel constitutes of well-known experts."


Regarding Monday's mishap at the site, where at least six persons were injured during clearing operations, Dikshit said, "It was a technical fault."


"We have set up a committee of our top engineers who would go into the causes for collapse of a pillar being constructed by DMRC, which took six lives and left many injured. The committee would submit its report within ten days," Minister for Urban Development Jaipal Reddy told Parliament on Monday.


He was responding to Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta, who raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and demanded a judicial probe into the matter.


"We are not averse to ordering a judicial probe, but let us wait for the report of the committee. These are top engineers including structural engineers. Let me assure you that we are not putting pressure on the contractors. We would have to wait for the comprehensive report before arriving at a decision. The incident will cause a three-month delay but we will complete the project before September next year. I would like to assure you that we will not compromise with the quality," he said.


Additional inputs from PTI

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi