Four killed in bridge collapse

A recently constructed road bridge has collapsed in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi, killing at least four people and injuring others, officials said.

Four killed in bridge collapse

At least two cars and a police van were crushed under masonry, and a truck with a trailer and a minibus lay upturned by the fallen bridge. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

City mayor Mustafa Kamal said they were using heavy machinery and bulldozers to remove debris and pull out injured people trapped in at least two or three vehicles.

Azhar Faruqi, the city police chief, said they had transported two bodies to a hospital, while another two bodies could be seen inside a crushed car. "Witnesses say they saw four or five vehicles on the bridge when it caved in," he said.

Earlier, Mohammed Iqbal, a survivor who escaped through the window of a small bus that fell from the bridge, told the private Geo news channel that some other passengers were still trapped in vehicles and under masonry and he had heard their cries for help.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz expressed sorrow over the loss of life and concern over the quality of construction of the bridge - a substantial concrete overpass in the west of Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, which is increasingly plagued by traffic congestion.

The bridge was inaugurated by President Gen Pervez Musharraf in August.

"Investigations have been ordered to find the reasons of the collapse and people responsible for substandard construction would be taken to task," Aziz said in a statement.

Angry relatives of casualties from the accident were throwing stones at police and paramilitary security forces deployed at the scene.

Press Association

Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2007, 17:07
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