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Kolkata police detain five over collapsed overpass

Police in Kolkata have detained five employees of the company responsible for building the overpass that collapsed onto a crowded neighborhood this week. Time to find remaining survivors is running out.

The five men who have been detained work for the Hyderabad-based IVRCL Infrastructure Co., which was contracted in 2007 to build the overpass. Police have reportedly also sealed off its Kolkata office.

"Five people of the Hyderabad company have been detained for questioning," Kolkata deputy commissioner of police, Akhilesh Chaturvedi, said, referring to the contractor IVRCL.

The officials are being questioned for possible culpable homicide, punishable with life imprisonment, and criminal breach of trust, which carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, police said.

The accident killed

at least 24 people

and injured more than 80. Police said 39 of the more than 80 people taken to hospitals were still being treated Friday morning.

"There is no possibility of finding any person alive," according to S.S. Guleria, deputy inspector general of the India's National Disaster Response Force.

The construction company was far behind schedule for the overpass. "We completed nearly 70 percent of the construction work without any mishap," IVRCL official K.P. Rao - who was not among those detained - said. "We have to go into the details to find out whether the collapse was due to any technical or quality issue."

Engineers are reportedly being consulted about a part of the bridge still hanging over the disaster area. After this, workers will slowly start dismantling this particular section to avoid any collateral damage to houses around it, a police spokesman said.

jbh/kms (AP, AFP)

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