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One pillar got displaced

The bridge collapsed as one its pillars was displaced, said the National Highway Authority in a press release reported by APP

The bridge was constructed by the National Logistic Cell (NLC) and it was part of the 57-km Northern Bypass. M/s Engineering Consultant International was the consultant. 

The bridge was completed in two years ago but later a fault appeared in its design following which the bridge was redesigned in light of recommendations from a foreign consultant company. The NHA re-opened the bridge after it was fully satisfied after a trial observation period.

At the press conference, NHA Project Director Yousuf Barakzai said that the design was drawn up by a wing of a company in Cyprus for Engineering Consultants International (Pvt) Ltd. The design was approved by the engineering section of the NLC followed by the approval of the NHA.

“The bridge was designed to be the latest and most durable one in the city but it is a matter of entire astonishment how it collapsed,” Barakzai commented.

To a question about which company in Cyprus was responsible for the design, he said he had forgotten the name. ECIL Resident Rngineer Iqbal Ahmed Alvi could not be contacted for the name.

“The piling of the pairs of the bridge were substandard and the building material was poor quality,” an NHA engineer claimed.

"We were coming from Lahore with a delivery of clothes to Mauripur when we suddenly felt a powerful vibration," said Abid Hussain, the driver of trailer (TLA-795). He and his conductor Ameer Abdullah said they were sure they were going to die. "Instead of hitting the breaks I jammed my foot on the accelerator to get out of there," he said.

Police official Khalid Hameed confirmed four deaths that later went up by 2 and 12 injured but added that several vehicles were trapped in the debris. Two bodies along with body parts and six injured people were rushed to Civil Hospital. Five injured people were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and another to Murshid Hospital.

Witnesses said a portion of the bridge fell with a huge bang. "It created such a big sound that we thought it was an earthquake," said neighbourhood resident Zahid Khan. Others thought a bomb had exploded.

The dead were mostly identified as poor people. Ali Mohammad, 55, a resident of Shershah hailing from Attock, was a father of four, who worked in the fisheries, according to this cousin Salim. The Civil hospital injured are Mohammad Nazakat, Ghulam Yasin, Murad Bibi, Qasim and a Ranger's jawan Hanif who was injured during an outbreak of violence at the scene. The injured at Abbasi Shaheed are: Abid Hussain, Ameer Abdullah, Zohaib, Rafia and her 12-year-old daughter Taj Mina. "We were waiting for a bus at the stop when the bridge collapsed with a sudden bang," Rafia, a resident of Baldia, told Daily Times from hospital.

Beast dies under concrete burden: A donkey also died in the Shershah incident. “I was passing by with my donkey cart when suddenly the bridge collapsed on us,” said donkey-cart holder Ahsan Ali. “There was no chance of saving him.” A distraught and teary-eyed Ali paid forty thousand rupees for the animal who helped him support his entire family. Ali was also injured.
04-09-2007 02:13 Bureau Report
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