Visakhapatnam: Eleven people were crushed to death after a 70-tonne crane came crashing down on them at the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Vizag on Saturday afternoon. The giant yellow crane was under a trial run. The mishap occurred between 11.30 am and 12 noon. A video of the crash shows visuals of the equipment falling on the ground with a loud thud.
Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said that HSL management, with the help of three new contractors, were conducting a trial run of the crane when the mishap occurred. “The dead-weight load of the crane was being tested when suddenly it's cabin and base snapped. The structure came crashing down on the people below,” Chand said.
The victims were crushed to death on the spot when they came under the massive iron structures of the crane that came crashing down. This is the first such mishap in the public sector ship-building company’s 75-year-old existence. The new crane was erected at HSL about two years ago but was not yet commissioned for regular operations due to change in contractors.
However, it should be mentioned here that this is the second major industrial mishap in Vizag after the gas leak at LG Polymers in May that witnessed over a dozen deaths.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to Chand and enquired about the incident. Reddy directed the Collector and Visakhapatnam City Commissioner of Police R K Meena to take required follow-up action. Four of the victims were employees of HSL, including a supervisor, while the other seven were workers of three contracting agencies, the Collector told reporters after inspecting the accident site.
Sources said that bodies of the victim have been retrieved and sent for post-mortem.
The HSL has constituted an internal committee to probe into the mishap. The committee is headed by its Director (Operations), the Collector formed an independent committee of engineers, comprising heads of departments of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering of Andhra Engineering College, to investigate the cause of the crane accident. “The committees will probe if there is any human negligence that caused the mishap,” Chand said.