Ref: Death toll reaches 12 as rescue teams until Sunday morning recovered more bodies from under the debris of three girders of the under-construction Bahaddarhat flyover, police said.
The girders collapsed on Saturday evening.
Over 50 others sustained varying degrees of injuries with the condition of many of them was stated critical.
Chandgaon Police Station Officer-in-Charge Babul Chandra Bhowmik on Sunday told bdnew24.com: “Two more bodies were recovered from the pond near the under-construction flyover in the early hours. Two had died on their way to hospital. We are confirmed about 11 deaths.”
Police officials deputed at Chittagong Medical College Hospital police camp said another people died at hospital undergoing treatment.
Hundreds of Army, police, RAB and BGB personnel were continuing their rescue operation by cordoning off the accident area. They were not allowing anyone to get inside the cordon.
Bangladesh Army’s 24th Infantry Division GOC Maj Gen Sabbir Ahmed on Sunday told bdnews24.com: “Two of the collapsed girders have been cut. Work to cut the other one is still going on. Machineries are coming from Dhaka.”
Around 3:40am on Sunday, Chittagong Metropolitan Police’s (North) Additional Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shahidullah told bdnews24.com that the fire service rescuers had pulled four more bodies from under the debris of one of the girders that fell on the nearby pond.
Until now, only three of the deceased were identified as – ‘Sazzad’, 20, ‘Shahabuddin’ and Kajal Chandra Dey, whose age could not be immediately known.
The girders between the number 12 and 13 pillars at the Bahaddar Barhi near the city’s Shah Amanat Bridge connecting road cave in around 7:30pm.
bdnews24.com Senior Correspondent Mintu Chowdhury and Correspondent Uttam Sengupta reporting from the spot said they heard screams of the people trapped under the debris right after the accident.
They said the angry people demonstrated and set ablaze the flyover-construction materials after the incident protesting the delay in the rescue operations.
DC Mannan had urged the agitated people to calm down after arriving at the scene around 8:45pm. “We have informed the army. I hope the rescue operation will begin soon.”
The police also fired several rounds of tear shells as the people started demonstrating again in front of the New Chandgaon Police Station and at the Bahaddarhat intersection around 9:20pm.
They also vandalised several vehicles including the DC’s car, a fire service vehicle, the jeep of the Additional Commissioner of Police (Revenue) and an ambulance at that time.
At least 10 motorcycles, including the one of bdnews24.com correspondent Mintu, were also set on fire.
On June 29 of this year, a rickshaw-puller had been injured after a girder from the flyover collapsed.
The 1.4 km long flyover’s construction had begun in December 2010, under supervision of the Chittagong Development Authority. Two firms – Parisha Enterprise and Meer Akter Enterprise – were building the flyover at an estimated cost of Tk 1.06 billion.
Wall collapse injures 12
Another disaster struck close by when at least 12 people were injured as a wall of a mosque beside the area of the mishap collapsed.
bdnews24.com’s Mintu Chowdhury, who was at the site, said the wall of the Bahaddar Barhi Mosque collapsed around 10pm as at least 500 people gathered there and climbed on the nearly 30-feet wall.
He said the wall collapsed under the sheer weight of so many people.
The rescue team, drawn from the police, BGB and Army, pulled them out of the rubble and sent them to CMCH.
The rescue officials had asked to move away, but they did not listen because they were waiting to watch the rescue of many trapped under the debris of the girders.
Shah Haji Mohammad Bokhtiar, owner of the Shah Amanat Decorators, situated right beside the under-construction flyover, told bdnews24.com: “I saw three girders collapsing one after another. It appeared to me that at least 60-70 people are still trapped under the debris.”
Local people said that a large number of people generally walk underneath the flyover in the afternoon every day. Most of them are garment workers, while hawkers sit there with their goods, they added.
They suspect most of them were trapped under the debris.