3 dead, 6 injured as span collapses near airport

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Three labourers died and six others were injured when a span came crashing down at the construction site of an elevated road less than two km from the Sahar airport (Mumbai's international airport) late Wednesday. The road is being built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).

Sahar police Thursday arrested Supaiyya Velu Saravan, the L&T site engineer, Lakhwindar Singh Nirmal Singh, a foreman, and Pechi Mutthu Subramaniam, supervisor of sub-contractor SP&SJ Constructions. They have been booked for causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or the personal safety or others and causing death by negligence.

The elevated road connects the new terminal building of Mumbai airport to a lane that leads to Marol Naka. The labourers were launching a segment through cantilevering when it slipped, causing the entire span, or the slabs between two piers, to dislocate.

The accident took place inside a barricaded area opposite the Hyatt Regency hotel. The span had about three segments.

The connecting road that collapsed is one of the six that link the new airport terminal to Western Express Highway and other roads. While the 2-km Sahar elevated road, constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is ready, construction of connectors is expected to be completed around the same time as the new terminal building.

In a statement, L&T said, "Investigations are on to determine the cause of the accident. All necessary help is being provided to the affected and the families."

MMRDA said the accident took place in the jurisdiction of MIAL, which is constructing the 1.5-km stretch from Sahar elevated road to the new airport terminal. "MMRDA has no role to play as far as this stretch is concerned," said the authority's spokesperson.

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