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Building adjacent to Metro Rail work site caves in at Tondiarpet
A portion of a building adjacent to an underground Metro Rail construction site on Tiruvottiyur High Road in Tondiarpet caved in 15-ft deep on Tuesday morning.
The incident happened around 7 am on Tondiarpet CDH junction when R Sunil Kumar (36) of Tiruvottiyur and two of his employees were setting up his tea shop as usual. After sensing an earthquake-like tremor, the trio ran out of the shop. Within seconds, the tea shop went down.
A house located on the first floor, where Sunil Kumar’s employees were staying, also collapsed. A pharmacy and an empty shop in the same building were damaged in the cave-in.
On information, three fire tenders rushed to the spot as there were LPG cylinders at the shop. The building belongs to one Loganathan of Tondiarpet, the police said.
The construction of underground Metro Rail work is being done as part of the Phase I extension from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar, covering about nine kilometres. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), in a statement, said that excavation and preparatory works were being carried out to cast a base slab in cut-and-cover ramp at the site of the accident.
“While the existing pipelines within the site have been securely supported, a waterline passing outside the cut-and-cover structure, close to the sheet pile area, was fractured due to differential settlement of soil strata surrounding the pipeline,” the statement read.
It also said that the collapse was caused due to the disturbance of the soil strata during sheet piling and subsequent excavation. As a result of erosion, there was a loss of soil in the vicinity of the pipe, leading to the cave-in.”
CMRL authorities said that action was immediately initiated to secure the area with barricades and concrete to fill the sinkhole has been placed to restore the surface.
“Further erosion has been prevented by plugging the ruptured pipes and soil displacement is being monitored. CMRL has also approached the CMWSSB for temporarily close the pipeline till its rectification. Also, CMRL has taken adequate action to compensate the affected people. Reconstruction of the damaged shop will be taken up by the CMRL,” an official said.
The incident caused panic in the locality and traffic was also affected. The police have registered a case and further investigation is on.