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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The authorities of the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here on Saturday began a probe into the collapse of roof of an under-construction link building at the airport in which one person was killed and many were left injured last night.

BPIA Director VV Rao informed that a slab of link building connecting domestic with international terminal collapsed at around 11 pm yesterday. “200m concrete slab of the link building has collapsed. Most of the workers had left and only two workers were present when the mishap occurred,” said Rao.

Rao further informed that a committee would be formed to conduct a detailed probe including the technical drawbacks which led to the mishap.

Though a case is yet to be registered by Commissionerate Police, Dillip Khatei, chief of Dilip Constructions Pvt Ltd which is executing the construction work at the airport has been detained. Bhubaneswar DCP interrogated Khatei and the process of verifying documents have also begun, official sources said.

"The concerned contractor and engineers are being interrogated. A special team comprising forensic officials and engineers of Works department has been formed to probe the mishap. Action will be taken based on the report," said DCP Anup Sahoo.

Earlier, the official of the construction agency had ruled out any lapses in safety and other execution of the work. “All safety-related aspects were followed. All the labourers were returning after completion of work by 11 PM yesterday when the mishap occurred. Only two to three persons were near the site,” said the official last night.

Meanwhile, Odisha Contractors’ Association President Prabhat Das has questioned whether the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was followed for centring work. “The reason behind the roof collapse could be mainly due to weak centring work, not to forget the labourers were still working on the roof. Two persons should be held accountable –the contractor and the engineer of the construction agency or the department who is in-charge to supervise the project,” said Das.

Das maintained that the authorities should have first checked the centring work and then proceeded with other works.

On allegations that wooden logs were used in the construction work instead of iron pipes for the centring, Das said that it is certainly a matter of concern if such lapses were made.

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