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Under-construction PWD bridge collapses, engineer crushed to death

Inferior construction material blamed for tragedy; District Administration orders magisterial inquiry

The under-construction Kolmesalgre  to Nengsangre locality bridge which collapsed on Tuesday afternoon. (ST)
The under-construction Kolmesalgre
to Nengsangre locality bridge which collapsed on Tuesday afternoon. (ST)

SHILLONG: An engineer from Tura died on the spot while sixteen others were seriously injured when an under construction bridge collapsed at Kolmesagre under East Garo Hills District on Wednesday afternoon.

The Junior Engineer working with the PWD identified as Lemingston Marak died on the spot when the wooden scaffolding under the newly-cemented patch of the bridge collapsed and he was caught under the falling debris. It is alleged that the scaffolding which was meant to hold the cement slab collapsed because of the poor quality of timber used for the construction.

Some of the injured persons, mostly labourers, were rushed to the Williamnagar Civil Hospital.

East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Vijay Kumar Mantri informed that as per the initial reports casting of slabs of the bridge started on Monday and the same collapsed on Tuesday leading to the tragic incident.

The Deputy Commissioner has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

The inquiry would be conducted by Additional District Magistrate SB Marak who has been asked to submit his report within one month.

The district Superintendent of Police has also filed a suo moto complaint into the incident and the police have started their investigation.

Meanwhile, Williamnagar legislator and Cabinet Minister, Deborah Marak, on Tuesday blamed the PWD for the tragic incident and asked the department to own up responsibility.

“The technical staff should have checked whether it was the right decision to go for casting slabs at this time as contractors are laymen and they don’t have the technical details,” the Minister said.

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