The death toll in the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Kolkata Thursday rose after more bodies were pulled out Saturday, with the figure standing at 26 at present, according to reports. Congress party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited the city Saturday, but dismissed suggestions of any political agenda ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.
A 100-metre-long part of the under-construction flyover, which was being built by the IVRCL infrastructure group, came crashing down Thursday, killing several pedestrians and motorists and injuring many others. The flyover was planned to ease traffic in the congested Burrabazaar area of Kolkata, but the construction had been stuck for 7 years since work first began in 2009.
The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army carried out recsue operations at the flyover collapse site. NDRF Director General OP Singh told ANI news Saturday the toll had risen to 26.
Gandhi also paid a visit to the injured at the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital. He refused to make any "political" statements. "There has been a tragedy here, so I wanted to come here to give my support to people who are injured. I do not want to talk about politics," Gandhi said, according to his official Twitter account.
Other political parties, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have attacked the Mamata Banerjee-government in the state for the incident. The first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections begins April 4.
The Kolkata Police registered a case of culpable homicide against IVRCL and detained at least 10 officials, including the vice-president of the construction firm, following Thursday's incident.