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India: Canopy collapse at New Delhi airport after heavy rain

June 28, 2024

Officials said the terminal's canopy and some support beams fell early morning due to heavy pre-monsoon rains. India's opposition targeted PM Narendra Modi over the incident.

A crew inspects
All flight departures from Terminal 1 were temporarily suspendedImage: AP Photo/picture alliance

A section of the canopy at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport collapsed early Friday during heavy pre-monsoon rains, killing one person and injuring eight others, officials said.

"Eight people have been injured, one person is dead," Atul Gard, director of Delhi Fire Services told AFP news agency.

Flights disrupted

All flight departures from Terminal 1 in India's capital city were temporarily suspended until 2 p.m. (0830 GMT/UTC), as rescuers cleared debris and searched for anyone trapped, the airport authority said.

An airport authority statement said the canopy and some support beams fell in the domestic departure area of Terminal 1 around 5 a.m. (2330 GMT/UTC), damaging cars in the pickup and drop-off area.

"There are injuries reported and emergency personnel are working to provide all necessary assistance and medical aid to those affected," the statement from the airport posted on X said.

Visuals from local news showed a taxi trapped under a collapsed pillar.

Other terminals were operating as normal, as were arrivals at Terminal 1, it added. The Delhi airport is the busiest in India.

The injured were taken to the hospital.

Opposition targets PM Modi

Civil Aviation Minister K Rammohan Naidu said in a post on X, that he was "Personally monitoring the roof collapse incident at T1 Delhi Airport."


In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated a new section of the terminal.

Expecting the issue to be pounced upon by the opposition against Modi's government, Naidu clarified the building that collapsed was an old building that opened in 2009. "The building inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi is on the other side," he said, while visiting the scene.

Opposition politicians targeted the prime minister following the incident. A spokesperson from the Congress party accused Modi of embarking on an "inauguration spree" ahead of the recent elections.

Senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi posted on X, calling out Modi: "Will the Chief Inauguration Minister take responsibility for this poor construction work and this corrupt model?"

In a similar incident, a section of roof at Jabalpur airport in the central Madhya Pradesh state also collapsed on Friday. There were no injuries. This was another of the project inaugurated by Modi before the recent elections.

Heavy rains cause havoc

Delhi has been lashed by heavy rains as the annual monsoon arrived following a long summer of heatwaves and extreme temperatures.

The downpours paralyzed the city flooding roads and causing traffic snarls. Images across social media showed fallen trees and the police assisting residents stranded in waterlogged areas.

ss/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters)