Bhubaneswar: A labourer was killed and another injured when the roof of an under-construction building collapsed at Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Friday night.
According to airport sources, around 12 labourers were engaged in the construction of a link building between Terminal-1 and Terminal-2 when the newly-laid 10,000 sq ft roof collapsed. The incident took place soon after the roof construction was completed, the sources added.
Rescue teams comprising NDRF, ODRAF, CISF and Fire Services personnel rushed to the spot and brought out the body of the deceased labourer. He was identified as Antaryami Guru of Badamba-Narasinghpur area in Cuttack district.
Another labourer, Naba Kishore Swain, was rescued from under the debris after a four-hour search operation with the help of a sniffer dog. The two labourers were taken to Capital Hospital, where the doctors declared Antaryami as brought dead. The condition of Swain is stated to be critical.
Following the incident, Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradip Jena, Science and Technology Minister Ashok Chandra Panda and senior police officials rushed to the airport.
The DCP said a thorough investigation will be done to ascertain the cause. If it’s found that the mishap occurred due to human error, stern action would be taken against those found guilty, he added.
The SRC said the airport authority will have to file a detailed report on whether the construction agency (Dillip Construction Ltd.) was given permission for working on building at night.
an employee of the construction company told the media over phone that all arrangements were made for the safety of the labourers.
On Saturday, the All Odisha Contractors Association president, Prabhat Das, claimed that some workers of the construction company alleged that instead of using iron pipes, wooden shafts were used for the centering of the roof. As a result, the roof collapsed as it could not withstand the load.
“The contractor and engineer, who should have thoroughly examined the centering of the roof before it was laid, are responsible for the mishap. They should be arrested and jailed so that there will no recurrence of such incident in future,” he added.
Flight Operations Resume
Flight operations at Terminal-1 and Terminal-2 were resumed after the completion of rescue operations.
Gate Between Terminals Sealed
Following the incident, CISF personnel sealed the gate connecting Terminal-1 and Terminal-2.
Also on Saturday, Airfield Police detained the contractor, Dillip Khatei, for interrogation.
Till reports last came in at 9 am on Saturday, not a single official or staff from the construction agency had neither visited the mishap site nor the injured labourer at Capital Hospital.
No Politics On Tragedy: BJD
Expressing grave concern over the roof collapse, BJD Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra has sought a high-level probe.
Later, however, the BJD officially said that it didn’t believe in politicizing such tragedies. “Unlike the BJP which has the habit of politicizing human tragedies and accidents, we do not believe in politicizing such incidents,” BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
“An unfortunate and preventable incident occurred yesterday night at the airport where we learn one person has died and several injured. Our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We demand that the deceased’s family is adequately compensated and proper treatment is given to the injured free of cost,” he added.