Tragedy Strikes as Crane Collapses: 17 Workers Killed in Samruddhi Expressway Construction
In a heartbreaking incident, seventeen workers lost their lives during the construction of the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra’s Thane district. The unfortunate mishap occurred late at night when a girder machine collapsed, causing immense devastation. The Samruddhi Expressway, also known as the Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, is a significant infrastructure project aimed at connecting Mumbai and Nagpur, spanning a vast distance of 701 kilometres.
The dreadful incident unfolded during the third phase of the expressway’s construction, leaving the entire nation in shock. The machine that caused the calamity was a specialized mobile gantry crane, commonly used in bridge construction. Tragically, the crane fell onto a group of workers, leading to the devastating loss of seventeen lives. As rescue efforts continue, five individuals are still feared to be trapped beneath the debris.
Authorities quickly mobilized emergency response teams, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), to aid in rescue operations. The NDRF teams, along with local agencies, have been working tirelessly at the site to search for survivors and recover the bodies of those who lost their lives. However, the situation remains precarious, and the death toll may rise further.
The Samruddhi Expressway is a vital infrastructure project initiated by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. It is envisioned to improve connectivity and enhance transportation between Mumbai and Nagpur, traversing ten districts, including Nagpur, Washim, Wardha, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Amravati, Jalna, Nashik, and Thane.
The construction of the Samruddhi Mahamarg has been carried out in phases, with the first phase connecting Nagpur to the sacred town of Shirdi already inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2022. This initial segment covers an impressive distance of 520 kilometres and aims to facilitate easier travel for commuters and enhance regional development.
The tragic accident in Thane has been met with deep condolences from all corners of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief and extended his sympathies to the families of the deceased workers. He also assured that the NDRF and local administration are actively involved in helping the affected individuals.
In his statement, Prime Minister Modi also announced financial support to the affected families. Each deceased worker’s next of kin will receive ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakhs from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF), while those injured in the incident will receive Rs. 50,000 each.
As the rescue efforts continue, it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of the workers and provide support to the affected families. The investigation into the cause of the accident is also crucial to prevent such tragedies in the future and ensure that all necessary safety measures are in place during the construction of ambitious infrastructure projects.
The nation mourns the loss of these workers who dedicated their lives to building a better future through the Samruddhi Expressway. It is a reminder of the risks involved in large-scale construction projects and highlights the need for utmost caution and adherence to safety protocols. May the departed souls rest in peace, and may their families find the strength to cope with this devastating loss.