Karachi Bridge Collapse

karachi-bypass-bridge.jpgWhile the Benazir Bhutto / Musharraf talks have stalled, a brand-new overpass collapsed in Karachi, killing four people. Designed to alleviate the crushing traffic jams that last for hours in Karachi, the overpass bridge and the Northern Bypass are now not usuable.

This was contracted out to Army firms, and not only will the design and architecture come under fire, but also the materials, and construction process. This is bound to raise some cries against the government and in one of the few areas where Musharraf still has reasonably strong support. The cry of corruption will undoubtably ring through the city.

Video below the fold

From the Daily Times:

A portion of a bridge that was inaugurated by President Pervez Musharraf just a month ago collapsed on Saturday afternoon, killing at least four people, injuring several others and leaving an unknown number of people trapped underneath.

The Northern Bypass at Paracha Chowk in Sher Shah was built at a cost of Rs 300 million by the National Highway Authority (NHA). The president and prime minister have called for investigations into the disaster.

Architect and structural expert Zafar Razzak told Daily Times that the bridge was heading for a collapse from the day it was built. “The bridge was not straight; it was tilted towards the right at the end,” he said, adding that this structure is considered faulty by one school of thought. “Some German experts had suggested that the NHA make some modifications to reduce the risks.” Speed breakers were then put in to reduce the risk of the curve. “If you look under the bridge, you will find black strips of carbon fibres that were installed on the suggestions of the foreign experts to support the curved bridge,” he added.

Adil at ATP has more

UPDATE: As predicted above, story here on possible substandard materials, contruction, and architecture….