NAGAPATTINAM: Eight crew members of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) were killed and three others were injured when the roof of a 74-year-old building collapsed on them at the TNSTC depot at Porayar in Nagapattinam district in the wee hours of Friday. Shocked district police officers told DC that the deceased and the injured were drivers and conductors and were fast asleep after their overnight duty when the terrible roof crash occurred in the old building.
The deceased were identified as S. Muniappan, J. Prabhakaran, and his brother J.Balu, G. Ramalingam, P. Manivannan, R. Chandrasekaran, M. Anbarasan, and T. Dhanapal. The injured Venkatesh, Senthilkumar, and Premkumar were admitted to the Government hospital in nearby Karaikal. According to locals, the building was constructed in 1943 and was tottering without proper maintenance and renovation, leading to Friday's tragedy.
Nagapattinam collector Sureshkumar, state handlooms and textiles minister O.S. Manian and others inspected the accident site. The relatives of the deceased and injured attempted to lay siege to the cars of both the district collector and the minister, which caused tense moments for some time.
Sensing the situation was turning worse, both of them managed to leave the place. Members of the TNSTC unions staged a demonstration in front of TNSTC depots in different places across Tamil Nadu, to condemn the loss of human lives and the administration’s negligence that led to the collapse in the first place.
Many state transport corporation bus depots across the state remain unkempt for decades, they pointed out.
Expressing deep grief at the deaths, BJP's Rajya Sabha member L.Ganesan said that the state government should take immediate steps to ensure such tragedies did not recur. Ganesan told newsmen at Tiruchy on Friday that proper renovation works of the TNSTC buildings as well as bus depots should be taken up to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public as well the employees of the TNSTC. Later, P. Shanmugham, state executive committee member of the CPI (M), appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to sanction `20 lakh each to the next-of-kin of the eight staff members of the TNSTC killed in the building crash in Porayar. He urged the state government to repair all dilapidated TNSTC buildings on a war-footing across the state....