Search This Blog

Friday, April 9, 2010


Dear (s)

When  one is at an intersection or at a crossroad in a not so familiar place, the first thing one needs to know where would the road lead to ? finding out by going ahead may not be the wisest of options.

Accidents at construction sites are not uncommon but it is unfortunate that many of them are due to negligence of people and could easily have been avoided. Construction is the gateway to growth and hectic activity is a sure sign of a growing economy. With the city bursting at seams due to traffic surge, more and more bridges, flyovers, subways and other modes of transportation are required. The investment in infrastructure is a primary requirement for the city planners and administrators.

For the successful execution of any project, effective planning is essential. Those involved with the design and execution of the infrastructure should consider many aspects and coordination of various contractors involved is very essential. In almost all cities, you would come across very many bridges – old, new and under construction – a part of everyday life as one commutes from place to place. Bridges provide passage over some sort of obstacle – a river, a valley, a road, rail track, or to ease congestion at meeting points. There are three major types : Beam, Arch and Suspension. The difference between them is one of the span – the distance between the supports – columns, towers or the walls. One of the main aspect of consideration is dealing with forces of compression and tension. Compression is a force that acts to compress or shorten the thing it is acting on whilst Tension is a force that acts to expand or lengthen the thing it is acting on.

These forces act constantly in all bridges and bridge needs to be designed to handle these forces without breaking or snapping. All these once the bridge is ready and when it handles volumes of transport – here is a case of one occurring before the bridge was completed and ready to handle the traffic.

In the suburb of Chennai, called Pallavaram, a deadly combination of rash driving and callousness caused one of the freakiest accidents when a speeding SUV fell off an unfinished rail overbridge. . There reportedly were no signboards or barricades at the entrance of the flyover. The car according to reports was driven very fast and fell from a height of about 50 ft and landed on railway track at around 11 am. The lone occupant of the car could be rescued from the mangled car and admitted with head injuries and fractures to limbs.

Some of the passengers waiting at the Pallavaram railway station had witnessed the scene awe struck, when the vehicle flew off the edge and crashed on the railway line. The driver had taken to the bridge in trying to avoid the clogged traffic without realising that the structure was incomplete. There are reports that some people standing had shouted at the driver but it was not paid heed to as the air conditioned vehicle was insulted with closed windows. He could have sensed the danger when very close and by that time it was not of any use. Being a railway line, had the vehicle touched the high tension power lines, tragedy could have been big and more if the fast moving EMU had come at that time.

The locals complained that there had been no barricades or signboards at the project site. There had been a couple of cases earlier when erring drivers had taken to the bridge but had sensed their folly and could make a hasty retreat. Probably it was waiting to happen due to the callous and negligent attitude of all concerned. The driver was booked for rash and negligent driving. Here are some photos as they appeared on various newspapers

(the brige and scene : Times of India)

vehicle on the track (Indian Express)


With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. The accident just had happened because of the fault of contractor who did not blocked the road and the Scorpio met with an accident. There is no fault of driver because when you sit in a closed car and the AC is non along with car stereo then there are no chances for any car driver to hear any shout of people.

    First question to be notice that was the driver aware about this flyover construction or not?

  2. You are right. There is no way one notices outside when fully closed and hearing to jazzy music. But when on not so familiar places, lot of precaution is desired. With so many small and big bridges coming up and work being held up for years, not everyone would know of the construction. Though it could have been rash and negligent driving, this loss is more due to the contractors (a Govt.bridge at that) taking no measure to prevent one, especially when locals say that on more than one occasion, some drivers have erringly driven on to the bridge. This man was not fortunate enough to realise and correct the way in time

  3. It is unfortunate that such an accident has happened. By God's grace there was no casualy leave alone from the fall but that no train was actually passing through at the time of accident.



  4. unthinkable - what an accident - how callous - happy that he survived