One dead, 22 injured as scaffoldings crash

A worker died and 22 injured when volumes of iron scaffoldings erected for interior decoration at the hall of a newly-constructed St. Mary’s Cathedral Church at Melapudur in the city gave in on Monday. Except three, all the other workers suffered minor injuries. As soon as the incident happened, fire service personnel, police and labour department officers rushed to the spot and inspected the scene. Police and Fire Service personnel said it was a puzzle for the collapse of the scaffoldings as the joints and bolts were in tact. The victim, Ashok Kumar, died at a private hospital.

At the end of construction of the new church, an old church on the premises was demolished recently.

The civil work associated with the church was completed a few months ago and the interior decoration was taken up recently. Hundreds of scaffoldings were found scattered all over the hall of the church. But as compared to the huge volume, the extent of injury was relatively far less, according to eye-witnesses. Rev. Fr. Eugene, Parish-priest in-charge of the church, said the exact reason of the incident was yet to be ascertained. He said the workers had a providential escape. The incident saw the complete preparedness of the official machinery to meet any emergency.

Syed Mohamed Sha, District Fire Officer, who reached the site, said that emergency rescue tenders (ERT) had been brought to the church premises. “We were fully prepared with hydraulic cutters,” he said.

Police officials immediately prevented the entry of onlookers into the church, as a precautionary measure.

A cross-section of workers said the scaffoldings were not set up uniformly. The scaffoldings were adjusted, re-aligned, or extended in accordance with the work for a particular day.

The workers were from Kolkata, Lalgudi, Manapparai, and Viralimalai. Initially, a section of the injured were admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital. After initial treatment, the church authorities made arrangements for shifting them to a private hospital.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:06:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/one-dead-22-injured-as-scaffoldings-crash/article6028168.ece

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