The accident site at Kadma on Monday. (Bhola Prasad)
Kadma spent Makar Sankranti in mourning after two labourers were crushed to death under slabs of marble that were being unloaded at a plush residential complex, forcing the police to launch an investigation into the case.
Though no foul play is being suspected, there was definitely negligence in the way the truckload of marble slabs, each 10 feet by 5 feet, had been transported and were being unloaded at Vijaya Heritage around 8.30 am.
The two labourers, Surendra Rai (35) and Karo Majhi (25), died on the spot, while two others were seriously injured. They were admitted to Tata Main Hospital for treatment.
According to resident of duplex no. 17 Mohan Ram, there was only one labourer with the consignment when the truck arrived. The contractor had brought in another six labourers for unloading the slabs, which were stacked vertically and tied together with a thin rope.
“As the truck stopped and the rear cover opened, three labourers got into the truck, while the others waited. But suddenly, the marble slabs fell on the four labourers on the truck,” said Ram, who was watching from close by.
While two were hurt, two others came directly under the pile. “It seemed that the duo died instantly,” Ram added.
One of the injured cried out in pain, hearing which residents came out to see. Later, it was revealed he had dislocated his right arm, while the other labourer sustained multiple injuries in his arm and shoulder.
They were rushed to the hospital by Navin Singhania, who had bought the consignment of marbles from a shop in Mango to renovate his duplex (no. 28).
Other residents informed the police after which Kadma police station officer-in-charge Raju Thakur arrived. He called for a crane, which helped unload the marbles once the truck was driven out of the residential complex.
The entire operation took about two hours after which the police took possession of the bodies and sent them for post-mortem to MGM Medical College mortuary.
“The accident took place due to faulty loading of the heavy marble slabs, but at present attending to the victims is our priority. The family members of the deceased are being informed, and only then will we decide who should be taken to task for the mishap,” Thakur said.
A marble mason, who had come to work in the complex, said normally marbles of such size were kept in a horizontal position while being transported. These were stacked vertically and bound together by a rope which gave way.