Monday, 30th October 2017

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Portico collapse injures three

The portico of a century-old building on BB Ganguly Street came crashing down on Friday afternoon, injuring three passers-by.

By Our Special Correspondent in Bowbazar
  • Published 30.12.17
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The BB Ganguly Street building whose portico collapsed on Friday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Bowbazar: The portico of a century-old building on BB Ganguly Street came crashing down on Friday afternoon, injuring three passers-by.

The building, located on one of the most crowded arteries in central Calcutta, is within 200m of Welland Gouldsmith School.

Witnesses said a part of the portico resting on rusted iron rods collapsed on the road with a deafening noise around noon. Panicked pedestrians scurried to safety but three of them could not and were hit by debris.

Police identified the injured as Subir Rahaman, 29, from Jagatballavpur in Howrah; Khokhon Mondal, 30, from Bamanghata in Haldia; and Jayesh Thakkar, 53, from Bakulbagan in the city.

The city police headquarters at Lalabazar being just 500m away, cops arrived at the site within minutes of the crash and carried the injured to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

Thakkar was shifted to a nursing home, from where he was discharged in the afternoon. The other two were admitted to the emergency ward of the medical college and discharged a couple of hours later.

According to civic records, the building - 293 BB Ganguly Street (along the northern flank of the road) - is owned by Jiten Pyne.

Originally a two-storeyed building, two more floors were added to it over the years. The ground floor is let out and mostly occupied by shops selling glasses. Representatives of the shops said they paid rent to a manager and had never seen the owner.

"A transport office is located behind the building and trucks keep entering through a narrow lane adjoining the building," said an official of one of the shops.

"On Christmas morning, a truck had hit a pillar of the portico. The owner then got some people to put up props to support the roof."

Witnesses said work on strengthening the portico was on when the structure collapsed.

Central Calcutta is dotted with old, dilapidated buildings that are caught in a web of litigations and crying out for repairs.