Two more bodies were extricated from underneath the pile of debris and iron girdles of the collapsed under-construction flyover in central Kolkata, pushing the death toll in the mishap to 26.
During the rescue operations conducted since this morning, Kolkata Police disaster management team along with fire fighters extricated bodies of two men from underneath the rubble of concrete, which was possibly part of a small temple at the mishap site, a senior Kolkata Police officer told PTI.
The number of people injured in the mishap, he said, was 89. "This area is quite critical because of its proximity to residential buildings along the road. We were getting foul smell from underneath the rubble, but we have to be very cautious while carrying out the rescue work... One wrong step can lead to another mishap by bringing down the other part of the flyover," the officer said.
On the identity of the two bodies found today, the IPS officer said by their attire it seems both were beggars sitting outside the temple. "Going by the foul smell, it seems there are more bodies underneath the debris... We are trying to find them," the officer said. A portion of the under-construction Vivekananda flyover, which was reportedly around 60-metre long, collapsed on the afternoon of March 31.
The West Bengal government has ordered a high-level probe into the tragedy that triggered a blame game with the opposition accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of callousness. Three senior officials of the Hyderabad-based construction company IVRCL were arrested by the Kolkata Police last night in connection with their probe into the mishap.