By late Thursday night, 21 people had been confirmed dead and perhaps a dozen more were thought to be trapped under a mass of of concrete and metal debris in Kolkata, where the collapse of a 100-metre stretch of a flyover that was still being constructed plunged the Burrabazar area into chaos.

But even as the rescue operations were still underway, Kolkata residents were certain they knew exactly what had caused the disaster: corruption, politically motivated deals, and callous contractors cutting corners.

“If you mediawaalas had done your job before the flyover collapsed and reported about the corruption involved in the building of this flyover, maybe this horrible tragedy could have been avoided,” said one autorickshaw driver as he headed to the Vivekanada Flyover

At the site, rescue workers were scrambling through the rubble. A senior official of the company that was building the flyover described the tragedy as an "act of god". But that didn't convince bystanders. They were certain that this was a man-made disaster ‒ and that it was only a matter of time before another tragedy occurred.

All photos by Tanushree Bhasin.