At least 18 people are dead in Kolkata, India, and many more are trapped after a flyover under construction in a crowded commercial area came crashing down on Thursday. The 2-km flyover was coming up at Burrabazar, a busy area in central Kolkata, and it has been under construction since 2009, missing several deadlines. Television footage showed a body being pulled out and a bloody hand reaching out from under the rubble. Visuals also showed cars and a minibus buried under the collapsed bridge. Fires erupted when petrol tanks of cars were crushed.
Officials fear many more may have died in what the state government called a monumental tragedy. “I think at least 150 people are under the debris,” a witness said.
The army is using heat cameras to track survivors. Challenged by the metal and concrete, rescuers used cutters, drilling machines and sensors. A 140-tonne crane brought to the scene was unable to lift the concrete slab under which many people were feared trapped.