At least 14 people have been killed, over 70 injured and 150 feared trapped after a portion of a flyover under construction collapsed over taxis and other vehicles in the Indian city of Kolkata on Thursday, March 31, according to police.
Witnesses say rescuers are using their bare hands to try to save those caught under the rubble. Television footage shows people passing water bottles through to those who are crying out for help from beneath the debris.
One witness has told the New Delhi Television news channel (NDTV): “We heard a loud rumble and then saw a lot of dust in the sky.”
Another added: “The area was very, very crowded. Motorised rickshaws, taxis … there was a lot of traffic.
Large concrete slabs from the construction site fell onto traffic below, reports said.
Heavy duty cranes have apparently been brought in to move the wreckage, but attempts have so far been unsuccessful.
Senior police officer Akhilesh Chaturvedi said 15 critically injured people had been rescued.
“Most were bleeding profusely. The problem is that nobody is able to drive an ambulance to the spot,” he added.
Some witnesses have been critical of the initial response, with one saying there appears to be very little co-ordination on the ground.Army officers and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been called in to help.
An NDRF official said: “Our team is on their way to the site with all required equipment, we are also pressing into service canines which will help find trapped people”