India: 16 construction workers killed as crane collapses as new bridge is being built

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The incident took place about 50 miles (80km) from Mumbai in the western state of Maharashtra

At least 16 construction workers were killed and several others feared trapped after a crane collapsed during the building of a bridge in India.

The crane toppled onto large concrete slabs during the night, with debris then crashing down as labourers worked on the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra state, India's National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) said.

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India's National Disaster Response Force inspects the site of an under-construction Samruddhi Expressway where a crane collapsed on a slab of the bridge in Thane district of India's Maharashtra state. (Photo: India's National Disaster Response Force)India's National Disaster Response Force inspects the site of an under-construction Samruddhi Expressway where a crane collapsed on a slab of the bridge in Thane district of India's Maharashtra state. (Photo: India's National Disaster Response Force)
India's National Disaster Response Force inspects the site of an under-construction Samruddhi Expressway where a crane collapsed on a slab of the bridge in Thane district of India's Maharashtra state. (Photo: India's National Disaster Response Force) | India's National Disaster Response Force

The Samruddhi Expressway, connecting Mumbai with the city of Nagpur, is part of an expansive road infrastructure push in one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

The incident took place about 50 miles (80km) from Mumbai in the western state of Maharashtra.

The NRDF said 16 bodies had been recovered, and three injured people had been taken to hospital.

An NRDF video clip showed rescuers working through piles of mangled steel girders at the construction site in Thane, in the suburbs of Mumbai.

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences in a message on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

His office said in a post: "Pained by the tragic mishap in Shahapur, Maharashtra. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives."

His government announced relief assistance of 200,000 rupees (£1,894) for the families of the dead and 50,000 rupees (£474) for the injured.

Accidents on large infrastructure construction sites are common in India. In October last year, 130 people died in Gujarat when a bridge collapsed soon after it was repaired.

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In 2016, the collapse of a flyover onto a busy street in Kolkata killed at least 26 people.

The Indian state also saw a tragedy on 19 July, after a massive landslide trapped over 100 people and killed 16.

The landslide hit a remote village located on the slope of a hill. Around 17 houses out of 50 in the area have sustained damage.

It was estimated at least 225 people lived in the hamlet, Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra's deputy chief minister told the state assembly, adding over 80 had managed to escape.

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