In a devastating incident, at least 20 workers lost their lives on Tuesday (2 August 2023) in western India, as a crane collapsed onto an under-construction expressway located outside the financial hub of Mumbai. The catastrophe occurred when the crane toppled onto substantial concrete slabs during the night, subsequently causing debris to plummet onto laborers working on the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra state. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India confirmed the incident.
As night turned into day, the NDRF engaged in a grim recovery operation, retrieving the bodies of the deceased and providing medical assistance to three injured individuals who were rushed to a nearby hospital. A poignant video shared by the NDRF revealed rescue teams navigating through twisted steel girders at the construction site situated in Thane, a suburb of Mumbai.
The Samruddhi Expressway, a pivotal infrastructure project, forms a crucial link between Mumbai and Nagpur. This ambitious expressway, a testament to India’s rapid economic growth, signifies a substantial road network expansion.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had plans to inaugurate infrastructure ventures in Maharashtra on the fateful day, expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of lives. He promptly ordered financial compensation to be disbursed to the families of the deceased and the injured laborers.
Regrettably, accidents at expansive construction sites, particularly involving major infrastructure projects, are not uncommon in India. The incident serves as a grim reminder of the importance of prioritizing safety in the pursuit of progress.