17 workers killed after girder launching machine collapses

Thane: The death toll in the mishap where a girder launching machine collapsed in Maharashtra’s Thane rose to 17 after one more body was pulled out from the accident site on Tuesday morning, officials said.

A search and rescue operation is continuing to rescue more people feared trapped under the debris after the crane collapsed on a bridge slab during construction of the third phase of the Samruddhi Expressway near Shahpur in Thane district. According to officials, the accident took place around 1:30 am Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has ordered an investigation into the “unfortunate” incident.

Shinde announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those who were killed. Speaking to reporters in Pune, Shinde said, “Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia will be given to the next of kin of the deceased. It is an unfortunate incident. A company based in Switzerland was working here. Instructions have been given for its thorough investigation. The NDRF team has reached the spot and has given instructions for rescue work. Our concerned department officials and minister are present at the spot.”

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.“Pained by the tragic mishap in Shahapur, Maharashtra. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are injured. NDRF and local administration are working at the site of the mishap and all possible measures are being taken to ensure proper assistance to those affected,” the prime minister said on Twitter.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also condoled the loss of lives. Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Fadnavis wrote in Hindi (roughly translated), “In Shahapur taluka some labourers died in an accident during the construction of a bridge on Samriddhi highway which is very sad and heart-wrenching. I pay my heartfelt tribute to him. We share the grief of their families. Three workers were injured in this incident. They are undergoing treatment in hospital. I pray to God for their speedy recovery. I have ordered an inquiry into the incident”.