POLITICS

Maharashtra: 15 killed, 5 feared trapped as crane falls on bridge slab during Samruddhi Expressway construction

The major mishap took place in the wee hours on Tuesday near Sarlambe village in Shahpur tehsil, around 80 km from Mumbai.

Fifteen workers were killed and three injured as a crane fell on a bridge slab during construction of the third phase of Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra’s Thane district on Tuesday, an official said. Five persons are feared trapped and efforts are on to rescue them, an NDRF official said. The injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital, he added. 

It was a special-purpose mobile gantry crane used in bridge construction and to install precast box girders in highway construction projects. The accident took place in the wee hours on Tuesday near Sarlambe village in Shahpur tehsil, around 80 km from Mumbai, the official said. 

The Samruddhi Mahamarg, named Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, is a 701-km-long expressway connecting Mumbai and Nagpur. It traverses ten districts including Nagpur, Washim, Wardha, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Amravati, Jalna, Nashik, and Thane. 

The construction of the Samruddhi Mahamarg is being carried out by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The first phase, connecting Nagpur to the temple town of Shirdi, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2022. It covers a distance of 520 km. 

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the 80 km long second phase of the Samruddhi Mahamarg stretch from Bharvir village in Igatpuri taluka to Shirdi on May 26. Shinde said in May that the third and last phase would be completed by the end of December this year. 

More than 100 persons have died in accidents on the 600 km portion of the expressway. Data from December 11, 2022 to March 20, 2023 shows that mechanical breakdown due to speeding accounted for over 400 accidents, punctures for 130, and tyre-burst for 108.

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