The Army, National Disaster Response Force personnel, alongside the fire brigade and the police worked through the night and this morning using gas cutters and other sophisticated equipment to cut through the rubble and the tonnes of steel, iron and concrete which had given way yesterday afternoon.

Various agencies were also working to clear the devastation caused by collapse of the Vivekananda Road flyover in the Posta area and restore normalcy of traffic in the crowded market locality.

However, the rescue and clearance operations were hampered for some time due to late night rains. "Two more bodies have been extricated. The toll now is 23,"an officer manning the city police control room told reporters.

A total of 60 people are injured, some of them battling for life in various hospitals. "We will need a couple of days to completely remove the debris and ensure normal traffic movement in the entire area. But we are trying to ensure normal traffic at the important intersection of Rabindra Sarani and Klirkishna Thakur Street in the next few hours," said a police officer.

A top NDRF official said they needed hydraulic jets to clear the devastation. "It will be done under a very specialised kind of care. There is a requirement of a hydraulic jet. We need to stabilise this building. And specially the construction company, their specialists, their structural engineers, under their supervision this operation will be conducted," said the official.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who personally coordinated the rescue operations for hours, has announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs.2 lakh each for the critically injured and Rs 1 lakh for people with  minor injuries.

Banerjee also formed two expert teams to look into the reasons for the mishap and suggest remedies. Following Banerjee's instructions, the police filed an FIR against officials of the ill-fated flyover's Hyderabad-based implementing agency IVRCL Infrastructure, whose chief termed the mishap as 'an act of God'.

Also read: Kolkata flyover collapse: PM Modi speaks to Mamata, promises help

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