Rashmi Rekha Das

At least three labourers sustained injuries after an under-construction bridge on Kusei River collapsed on Painikoili-Rajmunda National Highway 20 at Anandpur in Keonjhar district on Monday. 

According to sources, two beams of the bridge collapsed when the construction work was underway today. While three labourers were injured in the mishap, the condition of one of them was stated to be critical. They were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where they were undergoing treatment. 

The accident occurred at 10am when two beams were being lifted through the crane. 

Meanwhile, locals attributed the mishap to the careless attitude of the construction firm engaged in the execution of the project.   

It is learnt that the construction of the bridge is going on for the last two years.  As many 30-40 laboureres work there every day. It was alleged that the beams were made of low-quality materials. As a result, when the beams were lifted with the help of crane, they caved in and fell on the Kusei riverbank. 

Soon after the incident, contractual workers have fled the scene to escape police arrest. 

The injured persons are yet to be identified. 

Upon being informed, Ghasipura police have reached the spot and started an investigation to find out the reason behind the accident. Also, Keonjhar sub-collector reached the spot, sources said. 

As per sources, the construction of Kusei bridge has been going on for the last five years. Earlier, Gayatri Company was looking after the project. The company did not complete the project for which another company AirSS was entrusted with the project.  It was alleged that the contractual agency has failed to adhere to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) which led to the mishap.