At least 17 workers were crushed to death in western India on Tuesday when a crane collapsed above an under-construction expressway outside the financial capital Mumbai, disaster response officials said.
The crane toppled onto large concrete slabs during the night, with debris then smashing down as laborers worked on the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra state, India’s National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) said.
The NRDF said 17 bodies had been recovered, and three injured people had been taken to hospital.
An NRDF video clip showed rescuers working through piles of mangled steel girders at the construction site in Thane, in the suburbs of Mumbai.
The Samruddhi Expressway, connecting Mumbai with the city of Nagpur, is part of an expansive road infrastructure push in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to inaugurate infrastructure projects in Maharashtra on Tuesday, said he was “pained” by the deaths and ordered compensation be paid to the families of the dead and injured workers.
Accidents on large infrastructure construction sites are common in India.
In October last year, 130 people died in Gujarat when a bridge collapsed soon after it was repaired.
In 2016, the collapse of a flyover onto a busy street in Kolkata killed at least 26 people.
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