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Sharmili Mallick

Nabarangpur: A day after an under-construction bridge over Negi River collapsed in Nabarangpur district leaving one labourer dead and four others severely injured, the superintendent engineer visited the mishap site for inspection and attributed the accident to the failure in centering support and use of substandard material.

"After inspecting the site, we realised that the accident might have occurred due to some fault in centering support. The pipes used in the centering must be defective or else there might be some fault in the spacing between the pipes. We have taken the measures of the spacing and after proper enquiry of the design, the exact reason behind the mishap will be known," said the Sunabeda superintendent engineer, Pradeep Jena who visited the site on Monday after getting directions from Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena.

"Besides, the materials used in the centering are old stock. We have taken the samples and it will be sent to laboratory for detailed examination," added the Sunabeda SE.

Earlier on Sunday, Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena had directed Nabarangpur Collector to lodge criminal case against contractor Ashis Biswal, sub-divisional officer (SDO) and Junior Engineer and their immediate arrest.

Jena had also directed the Chief-in-engineer to visit the site for enquiry.

Meanwhile, the locals have also alleged that substandard quality of work led to the collapse of under-construction bridge at Talpadar in Umarkote block in the district.

"The sand and cement used in the construction of the bridge are of poor quality. The concerned officials used hard cement and low quality sand. Even if we complained the matter to the concerned authorities multiple times, our appeals remained unheard," said a ward member of Talpadar.

It may be noted that, the under-construction bridge suddenly caved in when some workers were levelling the upper surface of the structure yesterday evening. The deceased Mahendra Mali died on the spot, the other four critically injured have been admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

The bridge over Negi river was being built by a Bhubaneswar-based contractor under the Biju Setu Scheme of the Rural Development department. The bridge was scheduled to have been built at a cost of Rs 2.41 crore by March 2019. But the contractor could not complete the bridge within the deadline due to unknown reasons, added sources.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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