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In a major embarrassment for organisers of the Commonwealth Games, an under-construction foot over-bridge on Tuesday collapsed outside the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the main venue of the Commonwealth Games, injuring 23 labourers.
Five people were seriously injured in the incident that occurred at 3.10 pm at Lodhi Road area of south Delhi, said the police.
The 95-metre long bridge was being built along with another over-bridge at the cost of Rs 10.5 crore by Chandigarh-based company PNR Infra, Delhi government sources told PTI.
The public works department of the Delhi government, which had given the contract to PNR Infra for constructing the over-bridge, has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
The bridge was to connect the parking lot of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where the opening and closing functions of Commonwealth Games would be held.
Fire department officials said the labourers were putting concrete mix at a portion of the bridge when the incident took place.
PWD Chief Engineer Rakesh Mishra admitted that the incident was a 'setback', but expressed confidence that the project would be completed before the Games that start on October 3.
On Monday, two police personnel, including an officer, had suffered injuries when a canopy erected at the stadium fell on them.
Interestingly, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, who heads the Group of Ministers on the Commonwealth Games, sought to blame the rains for the collapse.
"There have been heavy rains for the last 20 days. I don't have many details about the collapse. But I am sure the Games will be absolutely world class," he said.
The PWD chief engineer, however, had a differing view on this. "It did not happen because of the rain. Something has gone wrong leading to the incident. We are looking into all aspect of it," Mishra said.
Describing it as an 'unfortunate incident', Mishra said one of the pins might have fallen, causing the collapse.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said a case of accident was being registered in connection with the collapse. Details are being sought from the engineering department and an investigation will be held, he said.
He said the injured have been admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital. Soon after the collapse of the huge structure of the hanging bridge, cranes were pressed into service to clear the debris.