Lucknow found woefully wanting in disaster management

October 1st, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Oct 1 (IANS) That Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, which aspires to become a modern metropolis, is wanting in disaster management came to the fore after a flyover came crashing down Tuesday evening claiming seven lives and leaving several injured.Nearly three hours after the flyover under construction came crashing down on the Lucknow-Faizabad Road, the administration was incapable of removing even an inch of the debris.

This despite the Lucknow-Faizabad Road being easily accessible from almost all parts of the city.

When the cranes and other earth moving machines reached the spot after three hours, they could not move any significant part of the collapsed flyover, whose combined weight was over 200 tonnes.

“These 10-odd cranes just cannot lift and remove the 30-metre long cemented structure of the flyover embedded with heavy iron plates and rods,” an engineer, involved in the construction of bridges, told IANS Tuesday night when the rescue had just started.

“The cranes that have been deployed can lift up to nearly 25 tonnes,” he added.

Though there were 10 cranes, they could not work simultaneously as the police were unable to keep the crowds at bay and there was little space on the road to move all the cranes together.

The administration finally succeeded in removing one portion of the flyover around 9:15 p.m., four and quarter hours after the collapse.

It was too late for those trapped under the debris. Two bodies were taken out from under the debris.

In the absence of proper equipment, the crowd tried to come to the rescue of those trapped, but to no avail.

“We dragged out a motorcycle from under the slab, but could not save the rider, who received head injuries,” said Mohan Vishwakarma, who lives near the accident site.

District Magistrate Chandra Bhanu however said: “The rescue attempt was successful.”

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