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'Whole sky came down': Witnesses recount moment Kolkata flyover collapsed

Last updated on: April 01, 2016 12:50 IST
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An under construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata on Thursday afternoon that has already claimed 25 lives.

A video of the disaster showed the Vivekananda Road Flyover -- whose foundation was laid in 2008 and where work began in February 2009 -- suddenly crashing with a roar, giving no time for anyone under it to escape.

As rescue operations are underway, witnesses recount the horror the structure come crashing down.

IMAGE: A man is seen trapped amid the debris of an under-construction flyover after it collapsed in Kolkata. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Witnesses told news channels that the collapse sounded like a bomb, shaking the surrounding buildings and engulfing pedestrians, rickshaws, cars and buses. The portion of the overpass that fell was more than 300 feet long.

Amzad Hussain, a roadside fruit seller, said the incident took place at around 12:10 pm. “It appeared that the whole sky came down. The sound was deafening and the whole area was trembling. Initially I thought it was an earthquake. In fact, seeing people running helter skelter I ran away from my shop and as I found a massive dust swirling in air, I realised that the bridge has collapsed,” Amzad said.

Many locals said they were fleeing their houses for fear that more of the damaged structure could collapse.

“We heard a massive bang sound and our house shook violently. We thought it was an earthquake,” 45-year-old resident Sunita Agarwal.

IMAGE: People look at wreckage caused when an under-construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

After the collapse, Family members hysterically moved around with printouts of parents and asking policemen whether they had been spotted from the underneath the collapsed portion of the bridge in the central part of the city.

Vikash, who was at the spot but survived said, “I was crossing the road. Suddenly, I for no reason felt like sprinting... Trust me there was no reason, I just felt like running and cross the road… I know that it’s because of Hanumanji I have survived the collapse. I have got a new lease of life.”

“I thought it was an earthquake when my living room started shaking,” Amar Tiwari, who lives on the Kali Krishna Tagore Street, told The Telegraph. “A chunk fell on a bus, then a stall and then the Posta police kiosk and the Kali temple... and then the whole area got covered in dust,” he told the paper.

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