Inefficient support to metro reinforcement pillar caused the tilt and fall, says IISc engineer

He says had lessons been learnt from a similar incident that happened in 2009, the tragedy on Tuesday, January 10, could have been avoided

January 11, 2023 10:13 pm | Updated January 13, 2023 10:42 pm IST - Bengaluru

Under-construction reinforcement structure for Namma Metro pillar collapsed on the busy Outer Ring Road (ORR) near HBR Layout, killing mother and a child, in Bengaluru on January 10.

Under-construction reinforcement structure for Namma Metro pillar collapsed on the busy Outer Ring Road (ORR) near HBR Layout, killing mother and a child, in Bengaluru on January 10. | Photo Credit: File photo

A day after the collapse of a metro reinforcement structure which claimed the lives of a mother and toddler, an engineer from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) tasked with providing a report on the matter, visited the spot on Outer Ring Road and said that inefficient support to the reinforcement pillar caused the accident.

Speaking to The Hindu, J. M. Chandra Kishen, department of civil engineering, IISc, said, “Prima facie, I feel that the reason for this tilt and fall was inefficient support to the reinforcement pillar. I have taken pictures and measurements of the supporting cable they had used to conduct the study. Based on that, we will calculate and see if they are sufficient and if not, we will make a recommendation about what type of support they should provide in the future.”

Prior to this accident, way back in 2009, a similar incident of the fall of a reinforcement cage had injured two metro workers. Social media users also said that the same kind of tilt was seen in HSR Layout and Bellandur a few months ago, but no injuries had occurred.

“Those incidents could have served as a good lesson and this accident could have been avoided. I am not sure what action they took during the time,” Mr. Kishen said. He also said that while the height of the pillar is not really a problem, lack of supporting systems is what usually causes such accidents.

“Depending on how long they will leave the reinforcement pillar before concretising it, they should anchor it properly instead of using temporary fixes. Without adequate support, even wind can create such havocs. It is the responsibility of the contractors to provide such support,” he said.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on Wednesday said, “An internal technical team has been constituted to investigate on the cause of the accident and submit the report at the earliest.” The report by IISc is expected to be ready in four days time.

With a lot of construction work going on in the city, Mr. Kishen said that contractors and engineers should provide more attention to support systems as lack of awareness and a casual attitude could cause such accidents.

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