Commonwealth Games Bridge Collapses

by
staphni
A pedestrian bridge under construction for next month's Commonwealth Games here collapsed Tuesday, adding to concerns raised about India's preparedness for the international sporting event. At least 24 people were injured in the accident, three critically, said New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat. The bridge near Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium came down while workers were laying a concrete slab, said Rakesh Mishra, engineer-in-chief for New Delhi's Public Works Department. Designed as a pathway from a parking area to the stadium, the bridge was scheduled for completion this week. The games, hosted for the first time by the Commonwealth's most populous nation, begin October 3."We are inquiring into it," said Mishra about the cause of the collapse. "It could be faulty execution or a fault in the design."Two workers were injured in the accident, Mishra said. About 6,500 athletes from 71 teams -- mostly countries from the former British Empire -- will travel to India for the games and will play in newly built or renovated stadia. India is estimated to be spending more than $2 billion on the event, way above the initial projections made seven years ago when India won the bid. A new airport terminal, built and rebuilt roads and overpass bridges and an expanded metro rail network have all opened ahead of the games. But preparations have been troubled by delays in construction projects and allegations of corruption. Commonwealth Games building goes to the wire Monsoon rains have compounded the woes, with a spike in cases of dengue fever, water-logged streets and and massive traffic snarls. And this week, security concerns heightened after a shooting attack Sunday on a bus near a New Delhi mosque injured two Taiwanese tourists. Police downplayed the assault as "local mischief," insisting the city is safe for visitors. But Australia on Monday warned its citizens that the Games carry a "high risk of terrorism," pointing out that New Delhi has seen at least 14 major terrorist at
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