Migrant worker crushed to death at construction site in Kochi

Workers were engaged in plastering on the exterior of a multi-storey apartment complex at Panampilly Nagar when tragedy struck

A migrant worker on Thursday met with a tragic end after he was crushed between a scaffolding and a collapsed concrete structure while working at the site of an apartment complex under construction at Panampilly Nagar.

The deceased was identified as Sanjeev Singh, 22, a mason from West Bengal. Two others had a providential escape as they crept to safety.

The workers were engaged in plastering on the exterior of the building hanging from a scaffolding attached to a harness at a height of around 40 metres when the accident took place around 11.30 a.m.

A concrete beam of 5.50-metre length and 2.40-metre width together with a decorative side brick wall, collectively weighing nearly 1,500 kg, on the terrace above the 14th floor of the building got detached from the main structure. It slid outside and precariously hung suspended in air in the process crushing the victim on the scaffolding.

“The unfortunate man could be seen hanging as if in thin air from quite a distance, which made for a frightening sight,” said T.B. Ramakrishnan, station officer, fire station, Gandhi Nagar, who led the 10-member rescue team.

It took the team of 10 firefighters nearly two-and-a-half hours to fetch the victim. The operation proved onerous, as firemen did not have direct access to the victim. “We had to cut an access route through the terrace to reach him. Before that, we had to fasten the precariously hanging collapsed structure and the victim himself with ropes, so that neither he nor the rescuers fell during the course of the operation. We then cut off the iron pipes of the scaffolding that freed the victim who was moved to the terrace,” said Mr. Ramakrishnan. Though he was rushed to a nearby hospital, he was declared brought dead.

The beam supporting the collapsed structure was not attached to the main structure, and the decorative wall atop it was jutting outside leaving the whole standalone structure imbalanced, Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

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