As many as 20,000 people use the facility, which was last inspected in July
A row of concrete slabs on a landing, which connects two flights of stairs leading to the foot overbridge (FOB) of the Nungambakkam railway station, collapsed around 10 a.m. on Friday, injuring four persons.
The incident came as a shock to the regular users of the station, which is used by nearly 20,000 people every day. The revenue from ticket sales at the station is around Rs. 93,000 a day. The FOB was last inspected in July 2011.
The four slabs, covering a total length of 2.4 metres and width of 1.8 metre, collapsed simultaneously, from a height of over 3 metres. The slabs were part of a larger landing floor. The slabs that fell were at the Loyola College side of the FOB. The passengers fell into the vacant area right beneath the landing.
Divisional Railway Manager S. Anantharaman said corrosion of the metal angles welded onto the beams on the sides, which held the landing, must have weakened the unit.
Last year, no visual indication of corrosion was reported. “The FOBs are supposed to be inspected once in five years, and since this is first incident of this kind we are planning to increase the frequency of the inspections. A team has now been deputed to lift the slabs on all the structures and check the girders for corrosion. Within a week, we will get a complete picture of all the structures,” Mr. Anantharaman said.
However, the shortcomings in the inspection proved costly. Two of the injured persons, M. Yuvaraj and S. Naseer, with fractures, were rushed to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. They were later shifted to the Railway Hospital in Perambur. Mohan, another injured, was initially taken to a private hospital. Later in the evening, he was also shifted to the Railway Hospital. The fourth person, Murali Rao, who suffered bruises, proceeded to Bangalore in the evening, according to RPF sources.
“It has been several hours since the incident took place and we have not received any information on compensation or ex gratia until now,” Mr. Yuvaraj said from his hospital bed at 9.30 p.m.