70-ft-high water tank comes crashing down in Rourkela; 2 injured

Rourkela: A 70-feet-high water tank built by the Public Health Department collapsed in Civil Township in Rourkela today morning damaging the Wesco office located closeby.

Two persons including a woman were injured while around 50 bikes and bicycles vehicles parked under the tank have been damaged in the mishap.

“We heard a loud noise and everybody in the office came out. This perhaps saved us. But all the files and other articles in the office have been damaged,” said Sidheswar Jena, an employee.

The 9 lakh litres- capacity water tank constructed in 1975 was in unsafe condition, locals alleged, adding, water was still being supplied through it to several localities in the Civil Township area.

Local residents have blamed the engineers of the Public Health Division (PHD) for not snapping the water supply to the tank despite the structure being ‘unsafe’.

Sources said the officials of the concerned department were aware about the ‘unsafe’ condition of the structure as a new overhead water tank was being constructed close to the collapsed structure.

“Today’s mishap is outcome of sheer negligence on part of the engineers as well as senior officials who did not discard the old water tank. Besides no measures were taken to create awareness in the locality that also houses a hospital, market and some government offices,” said a local resident.

Locals also alleged that there are over 30 water tanks in the steel city that were built some 50 years ago and all such old public utilities should be immediately abandoned for the safety of people living close to such structures.

“We are not aware of the conditions that led to the collapse of the structure as no cracks were detected earlier in the water tank. We will conduct a detail investigation into the incident,” said PHD Executive Engineer, Anup Patel.