A massive 70-tonne crane under trial run in the Hindustan Shipyard Limited came crashing down on Saturday Visakhapatnam, crushing 11 victims to death in the first such mishap in the public sector ship-building company's 75 year old existence.
All the deceased who came under the falling iron mass, rail-mounted and known as jetty crane for being on a ramp to handle cargo, were killed on the spot, even as TV visuals showed the equipment collapsing on the ground with a loud thud after its cabin and base snapped during the trial run.
The new crane was erected at HSL about two years ago but was not yet commissioned for regular operations due to change in contractors.
The HSL management, with the help of three new contractors, started conducting a trial run of the crane when its cabin and base snapped and collapsed as a dead-weight load was being tested, Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said.
There were no other casualties in the incident, he added.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to Vinay Chand and enquired about the incident.
Reddy directed the collector and Visakhapatnam city Commissioner of Police R K Meena to take required follow-up action.
Four of the victims were employees of HSL, including a supervisor, while the other seven were workers of three contracting agencies, the Collector told reporters after inspecting the accident site.
Bodies of the victims have been retrieved and sent for post-mortem.
WATCH: A ginat crane collapses at Visakhapatnam shipyard
While HSL constituted an internal committee, headed by its Director (Operations), the collector formed an independent committee of engineers, comprising heads of departments of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering of Andhra Engineering College, to investigate the cause of the crane accident.
"The committees will probe if there is any human negligence that caused the mishap," the collector said.
Anupam Cranes of Mumbai erected the jetty crane at HSL two years ago, but it was not made operational.
The company later backed out of the contract and HSL subsequently engaged Greenfield Company to operationalise the crane.
HSL also contracted Lead Engineers for maintenance and Squad7 for regular operation of the crane.
"These contractors have commenced the full load trials now and the testing was being done when the tragedy occurred," Vinay Chand added.
The other deceased were three workers of Greenfield, two of Lead Engineers and one of Squad7.
One victim is yet to be identified.
Saturday's accident was among a spate of fatal industrial mishaps the region has witnessed in the recent past.
In May, 12 people were killed and many hospitalised after a styrene vapour leaked at a private plant here while a major fire accident in a pharmaceutical company in the Pharma City at Parawada near Visakhapatnam left an employee dead last month.