By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Three employees of the city municipal corporation died, while another was injured critically when the platform/trolley of the hydraulic crane broke while being used to install the national flag on a post office building in Gwalior city of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning.

The deceased employees were identified as Pradip Rajouria (32), Kuldip Dandotiya (35), and Vinod Sharma (55), while the injured employee was identified as Manzar Alam Khan.

The killer mishap happened at around 8 am when the municipal corporation staff was installing the national flag on the post office building (a heritage building) and suddenly the trolley/platform of the crane broke. The three employees of the municipal corporation working on the building’s terrace came under the crane’s broken part and died instantly.

The deceased employees were identified as Pradip Rajouria (32), Kuldip Dandotiya (35), and Vinod Sharma (55), while the injured were identified as Manzar Alam Khan.

On the complaint of the injured employee Manzar Alam Khan, the Gwalior district police lodged a case u/s 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the Gwalior Municipal Corporation (GMC) fire officer Umang Pradhan and fire brigade hydraulic crane machine vehicle driver Dharmendra Verma.

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In the complaint, the injured employee of the municipal corporation alleged that despite requests by all four employees not to use the hydraulic crane machine (as the staff was untrained), both Pradhan and Verma forcibly used the heavy machine, resulting in the mishap.

The flag was installed on the heritage Maharaj Vada building housing the post office, as part of decorations on the historical building just like previous years for the Independence Day celebrations.

Coming to know about the tragedy, the state’s minister in charge of Gwalior district, Tulsiram Silawat rushed to the spot and ordered a detailed probe into the matter. The state government announced Rs 4 lakh ex gratia to the kin of the deceased employees and also government jobs on compassionate ground to one dependent of each of the three employees.

According to official sources in Gwalior, a magisterial probe has been ordered by the district collector into the entire mishap.

Municipal Corporation’s employee leader Jairaj Singh Chouhan blamed senior officials of the GMC for the killer mishap. “The senior officials are to be solely blamed for the killer mishap, as they sent untrained employees to install the flag through the crane on the building. All senior officials of the municipal corporation should be booked for murder and arrested.”

Meanwhile, ex-CMs and senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, while grieving the deaths of the three employees, demanded a detailed probe into the entire mishap. Singh also questioned why the post of Gwalior municipal commissioner is lying vacant.