At least 20 die after crane collapses at India highway construction site

At least 20 killed and three admitted to hospital with injuries after accident in the Thane region of Maharashtra state.

This handout photograph taken on August 1, 2023 and released by members of India's National Disaster Response Force shows the site of the accident at the under-construction Samruddhi Expressway [NDRF/AFP]

At least 20 workers were crushed to death in western India when a giant crane collapsed at a highway construction site, disaster response officials have said.

The accident took place on the Samruddhi Expressway in the Thane region of Maharashtra state early on Tuesday.

The crane toppled onto large concrete slabs, with debris then smashing down as labourers worked on the highway, India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said.

The NDRF said late Tuesday that 20 bodies had been recovered, and three injured people had been taken to hospital.

An official at the Thane police control room said at least five of the people killed were engineers.

Teams of rescue workers from the NDRF, the fire department and police rushed to the site, using cranes to remove debris and rescue trapped people.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences in a message on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Pained by the tragic mishap in Shahapur, Maharashtra,” the prime minister’s office said in a post. “My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.”

The government said it would provide relief assistance of 200,000 rupees ($2,432) for the families of the dead and 50,000 rupees ($608) for the injured.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies