BENGALURU: A woman and her child died after tons of steel of an under-construction Metro pillar came crashing down on them at a work site at HBR Layout on the Outer Ring Road near Nagawara on Tuesday. The woman, her husband and their two children were going on their two-wheeler when the incident occurred.
The deceased were identified as Tejaswini (35) and 2.6-year-old Vihaan. The husband Lohit Kumar and the younger child Vismitha are safe and did not sustain any injuries. Lohit is a software engineer and Tejaswini worked at Manyata Tech Park. The couple were residents of Horamavu and were heading to a daycare centre to drop off their children.
Locals immediately shifted them to Altius Hospital right in front of the mishap site, but the mother and child did not respond to treatment.
“When they were brought in, their pulse had dropped and we tried to resuciate them. The mother died immediately. We tried for one hour to resucitate the 2.5-year-old child, but couldn’t save them. Both had sustained head injuries and had suffered much blood loss. The father and another child (about one year old) are doing fine. The mother was wearing a helment, but not the baby. We tried fluid resucitation, intubation, and mechanical ventilation, we tried our level best, but could not save them”, said Dr Mahesh, anasthetist-cum-emergency specialist and another doctor of Altius Hospital.
Ashraf, an eyewitness, said, “I was working at office when I heard the pillar falling. The scaffolding fell first. I stood up and saw the baby fallen on the road. One child was sitting between the father and mother, holding on to the father. The pillar fell on the woman and she fell behind. The baby was not injured by the pillar, but due to the fall on the road”.
The president of the HBR Layout Ward 24 Residents’ Welfare Association said, “This is due to gross negligence of BMRCL. The scaffolding was put up without any sort of protection. The traffic police are also to be blamed for allowing traffic before any precautions were taken. There is too mcuh traffic congestion here and not enough precautions were taken. There is an arterial road which can be opened for traffic going into the layout”.
Saddam Pasha, a local resident, who was in his office at the time of the incident, claimed that the under-constrution pillar had been swaying for for the last 4-5 days and blamed the BMRCL authorities for negligence.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhimashankar Guled, who visited the spot, said further action will be taken based on the report by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) and other experts. The bodies were shifted to Dr B R Ambedkar Hospital for post-mortem.
“On Tuesday morning, the Bengaluru Metro (No 218) between Hebbal and KR Puram reported that the reinforcement cage of a skeletal pillar structure had failed”, Namma Metro tweeted from its handle @cpronammametro. “This caused disruption to the traffic flow on the heavily used Hennur Road”, it added.
Namma Metro MD Anjum Pervez inspecting the accident site.Namma Metro managing director Anjum Pervez, was visited the accident site, said, “An unfortunate incident has occurred near the Nagawara Metro station site. The 18-metre high steel reinforcement bent and fell on the road. A couple, with their two children, were travelling on the road at that time. The woman and one child sustained injuries and were immediately shifted to hospital, but unfortunately, they died. Any condolence to the family is not enough. We will also give Rs 20 lakh as compensation to the family.
“We will request the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to investigate how this mishap occurred. As per protocol, all safety measures had been taken, but we will have to undertake a fact-finding study to understand how this happened — whether it was ‘manual negligence’ or technical negligence. If there was human error, then we will take action against those responsible. Meanwhile, our internal team will also study what has happened and what remedial measures can be taken. Till then, work will be suspended for two days”, he added.
He also denied that there was sub-standard work, noting that steel is procured only from three enlisted companies — SAIL, Jindal Steel and Tata Steel. He also said there is no structural fault as construction is carried only as per the approved design. A case has been registered at Govindapura police station.