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One Killed in Delhi Airport Roof Collapse

One Killed in Delhi Airport Roof Collapse

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 28: A cab driver died and six people were injured after a portion of a canopy at the drop and pick-up area of Delhi airport’s Terminal-1 collapsed on cars amid heavy rain early on Friday morning leading to suspension of flight departures till afternoon.

Civil Aviation Minister K. Rammohan Naidu visited Terminal-1 (T1) to take stock of the situation. He said he was monitoring the situation and the injured had been hospitalised. Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said three fire tenders were rushed to Terminal-1 (T1) of the airport after a call about the incident was received around 5:30 a.m.

Besides the roof sheet, the support beams collapsed, damaging the cars parked in the pick-up and drop area of the terminal. A search operation was conducted to make sure no one was trapped inside the damaged vehicles, they said. The injured have been admitted to Medanta Hospital near the airport.

“At around 5 a.m., due to heavy rains, the shed outside Terminal 1 of IGI, spanning from departure gate no. 1 to gate no. 2, collapsed, in which around 4 vehicles were damaged and around six persons have been injured and one person has died. All injured persons are stable. Legal action is also being taken,” DCP (IGI) Usha Rangnani said.

Following the incident, the terminal 1 was completely evacuated. It will remain closed till tomorrow until inspections are concluded, Minister Naidu said. All flights arriving at and departing from Terminal 1 till 2 p.m. were cancelled. While flights later in the day were accommodated in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, a senior official in the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

Delhi airport operator DIAL said it has set up a technical committee to probe the roof collapse at the airport’s Terminal 1 and the primary cause of the incident seems to be continued heavy rainfall. The Minister also announced an ex gratia of ₹20 lakh compensation for the deceased, and ₹3 lakh for the injured.

The Departure hall of Terminal 1 was inaugurated in March 2024 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after being reopened following expansion works that started in 2019. However, Minister Naidu later claimed that the portion of the building that collapsed on Friday morning was a different one which was built in 2008-2009 by private contractors.

T1 has only domestic flight operations by IndiGo and SpiceJet and the airport handles around 1,400 flight movements daily. IndiGo said its flight operations were impacted due to structural damage to Terminal 1 at Delhi Airport. In a statement, the low-cost carrier said the incident has led to flight cancellations in Delhi as “passengers are not able to enter the terminal.”

“Passengers already inside the terminal will be able to board their planned flights, but those with flights later in the day will be offered alternatives,” an IndiGo spokesperson said. “This unplanned situation has also led to operations across the network being impacted. Customers are advised to keep track of and confirm their flight status before leaving for the airport,” the statement added.

SpiceJet also cancelled its flights until further notice. “Please keep a watch on our Social Media channels for further updates,” the airline told its passengers.

Delhi on Friday received heavy rain for the second consecutive day. Rain, which brought respite from the scorching heat, also caused waterlogging in several parts of the national capital. According to the Meteorological Department, Delhi received 228 mm of record rainfall from 8:30 am on Thursday to 8:30 am on Friday.

NCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel, who was the civil aviation minister in the erstwhile UPA government when the collapsed roof was constructed, criticised the opposition for playing “politics over dead bodies” after protests over collapse of the canopy in T1.

Mr Patel, who is now with the ruling alliance NDA, said the structure built under his watch was “made by one of the best construction companies (Larsen & Toubro) in the country, possibly the world.”

“See… now talking about a structure that was built 15 years ago… and which has seen such extensive usage… to come to any conclusion about what happened it requires a comprehensive audit. I can only say that, as I remember, it was made by one of the best construction companies… L&T.”

“Obviously any building, when it is built, goes through mandatory design and planning clearances… so I can’t comment on something built 15 years ago. I can only say, going forward, we are going to have buildings not just from cement and concrete but also with new-age materials…”



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