In a grave mishap, 11 people were killed when a massive 70-tonne jetty crane collapsed during a load test in the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) on Saturday, said to be the first such tragedy in its 75-year history.
The victims were crushed to death on the spot when they came under the massive iron structure that crashed on the ground with a loud thud after its cabin and base snapped during a trial run.
The new crane was erected at HSL about two years ago but was not yet commissioned for regular operations due to change in contractors.
The HSL management, with the help of three new contractors, started conducting a trial run of the crane when its cabin and base snapped and collapsed on Saturday as a dead-weight load was being tested, leaving 11 dead, Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said. There were no other casualties in the incident, he added.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to Vinay Chand and enquired about the incident. Reddy directed the Collector and Visakhapatnam city Commissioner of Police RK Meena to take required follow-up action.
Of the 11 deceased, four were employees of HSL, including a supervisor, while the other seven were workers of three contracting agencies, the Collector told reporters after inspecting the mishap site.
Bodies of the victims have been retrieved and sent for post-mortem.
While HSL constituted an internal committee, 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," the Collector said.
Anupam Cranes of Mumbai erected the jetty crane at HSL two years ago, but it was not made operational. The company later backed out of the contract and HSL subsequently engaged Greenfield Company to operationalise the crane.
HSL also contracted Lead Engineers for maintenance and Squad7 for regular operation of the crane.
"These contractors have commenced the full load trials now and the testing was being done when the tragedy occurred," Vinay Chand added.
The other deceased were three workers of Greenfield, two of Lead Engineers and one of Squad7. One victim is yet to be identified....