The machine was moved horizontally, says preliminary report

The recent accident at the Metro Rail site near Pachaiyappa’s College – in which one worker was killed and six others injured – was caused by a human error, the preliminary investigation report with Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has concluded.

“The operator mishandled the crane. Usually, the crane is perpendicular to the object it is lifting, but the operator positioned it at an angle of 30 degrees from the object,” V. Somasundaram, chief general manager (construction), CMRL told The Hindu on Monday.

The report, according to the CMRL, also points to inappropriate use of the machine by its operator.

“The reinforcement cage that was being lowered did not get placed right, as it got caught in the pit. The operator jerked the cage horizontally,” says Mr. Somasundaram,

The investigation, being carried out by the General Consultant to CMRL, seeks to study in detail the cause of the accident. The crane involved in the accident was a Tata TFC 280 model. The crane operator was an employee of Valecha Engineering, a sub-contractor engaged by Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the contractors constructing the Pachaiyappa’s College Metro station.

According to sources with the contractor, crane operator Amalesh Yadav from Bihar is a 22-year-old with over a year’s experience in operating cranes. Police are looking for Amalesh, who has been absconding since the accident.

Relief disbursed

Meanwhile, three workers out of the six injured, have been discharged from Apollo Hospitals and they received the relief amount from the Chief Minister, at the CMRL office on Monday. The three others are still undergoing treatment and were given their relief amount there.

CMRL officials said nearly 90 per cent of the safety audit initiated across all metro station sites was complete.