| Railway security personnel oversees the rescue operation at Bhagalpur station on Friday. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Bhagalpur, May 13: Four persons were killed and dozens injured on Bhagalpur railway station premises this afternoon, when a part of an under-construction building collapsed. The building was being built for a GRP barrack.
Three bodies have been identified as Karan Kumar of Jarlahi locality, Mithilesh Das and Bhairo Das, both hailing from Tarar village. They used to work under the contractor of the building as cleaners.
The forth body is yet to be identified. Kailash Saha of Sahakund, Mukesh Kumar of Sultanganj, Samir Kumar of Jarlahi and Mohammad Alam of Ishakchak locality sustained serous injuries and were admitted to JLNMC hospital in critical condition. More than six people have been admitted in private hospitals.
According to Mohammad Alam, a survivor of the crash and also sells fruits outside the railway premise, the incident occurred at around 1am when Dn. Vikramsila Express arrived at the Bhagalpur station. Alam, who narrowly escaped the crash but suffered a fracture in one hand, narrated the incident from his bed in JLNMC. “I went to the urinal, which is near the main gate of the station and behind the main station building. On the first floor of the public urinal, construction work was going on. All of a sudden, the under-constructed wall from the upper portion fell on the ground. There were many who were carrying out a cleanliness drive in the building. A huge chunk of the wall fell on my left hand and I was unconscious,” he recalled.
Not a single railway official at Bhagalpur station was ready to speak to reporters. “We are not suppose to talk to the media, the divisional railway manager (DRM), Malda is on his way and he would be the appropriate person to talk to,” a local railway official said on condition of anonymity.
Another senior officer said work for the barrack was going on the first floor of the station building when the incident happened. He said one H. Dutta was the contractor but he had assigned another petty contractor Arun Pandey for completing the work. The official, however, did not give any clue which lead to the mishap.
“Look at the substandard construction. When the new building was underconstruction there should be proper framing of concrete beams, which are missing here,” said another railway official on condition of anonymity.
Mukesh Kumar, head mansion of the ongoing construction work, who also sustained serious injury said: “We were busy with the centring work while the wall on which the labourers and I were working all of a sudden gave up and fell.” State health minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey who represents Bhagalpur Assembly segment has sought a high-level inquiry into the incident. “I spoke to the general manager, eastern railway and urged him to make proper relief and rescue operations,” he told over the phone.
On the other hand, relatives of the victim took out demonstrations after the incident. An unruly mob went on a rampage inside platform number 1 of the station and ransacked the station premises.
RPF and GRP personnel lathi charged to disperse the mob. “Adequate reinforcement of force from the district police has been deployed and we are monitoring the situation with the local railway officials,” said Sunil Kumar, SDO, Bhagalpur.