‘No more survivors’ in India flyover collapse

Kolkata—Rescue officials said Friday there are no more survivors trapped under the rubble of a flyover that collapsed killing at least 25 people, as Indian police detained five construction company staff over the accident. Emergency workers using specialist equipment have pulled nearly 100 people out alive from under the huge concrete slabs and metal girders that fell onto a busy street in the eastern city of Kolkata on Thursday, crushing cars and pedestrians. “The rescue operation is almost over as there are no more survivors. We are trying to extricate a body from a truck buried under the wreckage,” Anil Shekhawat, a spokesman for the National Disaster Response Force, told AFP. Earlier police said the rescue operation would not stop until all the blocks of concrete and iron girders had been cleared, with hundreds of rescuers, including army personnel, working around the clock. Police said they had detained five employees of IVRCL, the contractor behind the construction project, which has denied responsibility for the disaster in the capital of West Bengal state. “Five people of the Hyderabad company have been detained for questioning,” said Kolkata deputy commissioner of police Akhilesh Chaturvedi, referring to the contractor. Another police official speaking on condition of anonymity said the five “hold senior positions in the company”. Police earlier said they had registered a case of culpable homicide against the firm, whose offices in Kolkata have been sealed by investigators. Derek O’Brien, a state lawmaker, said the company had been blacklisted in other states and had a “bad reputation”. —AFP

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