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After Overpass Collapse in Kolkata, Firm Charged With Culpable Homicide

Rahul Gandhi (center left), vice president of the All India Congress Committee, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (center, second from left), state president for West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, visit the site of a collapsed highway overpass in Kolkata on Saturday. Rescue officials said Friday there are no more survivors trapped under the rubble.

After a highway overpass collapse in Kolkata, India, the firm responsible for building the road has been charged with culpable homicide.

The overpass, which was still under construction, crashed onto a busy street on Thursday. The death toll from the disaster now stands at 26, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.

From New Delhi, Julie tells our Newscast team that three officials with the company have been arrested:

"The company officials, including the structural manager and the senior assistant general manager, face charges of attempted murder and criminal conspiracy.

"Investigators are examining why a massive section of a bypass still under-construction collapsed onto a crowded Kolkata street, crushing pedestrians, cars and buses. Sabotage has been ruled out but safety issues such as lack of inspections and substandard materials have long plagued construction projects in India.

"Local media report that the company at the heart of this week's disaster is in financial turmoil, and had contracted for more projects than it could complete."

On Thursday, Bill described the disaster:

"Part of the collapse was caught on a surveillance camera; the footage shows that people crossing an intersection had only the briefest of warnings, perhaps just a couple of seconds, before the overpass came down.

"Images from the scene in eastern India show cars and trucks pinned under large concrete sections, as scores of people work around tangled metal supports to try to help others who were injured or trapped by the collapse."

Bill also noted that the construction project had dragged on for years and was far behind schedule.

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