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World’s largest bell tragedy: Two killed during demolding at Kota’s riverfront

Two people, including an engineer, died while demolding the world’s largest bell at Kota’s Chambal riverfront in Rajasthan, sources said on Monday. Casting engineer Devendra Arya, who was standing on the box along with a labourer, fell from a height of about 35 feet on Sunday.

Both were rushed to a private hospital in Talwandi, Kota where they were declared dead. Kunhadi police station officer Mahendra Kumar said the incident took place when the work of removing the bell from the mould box was in progress.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, engineer Devendra Arya and labourer Chhotu were busy removing the bell from the box. The bell was being removed with the help of a hydraulic crane. Suddenly, the topmost girder (iron joint) slipped the moment it touched the hydraulic machine and broke into three.

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This led to the two losing their balance and falling from a height of 35 feet. They suffered serious injuries. While Chhotu died as soon as he was taken to the hospital, the engineer succumbed to his injuries during treatment at 5 p.m.

Notably, the bell is in the mould box and had to be removed this month. The work of taking the world’s largest bell out of the mould resumed this month. UIT and the contractor had called the mould-making engineer Devendra Arya on November 3.

Prior to this, Urban Development Trust (UIT) and another contractor had tried demoulding for 80 days before giving up and calling Devendra again. After which the work was resumed.

The bell weighing 79,000 kg was created by Devendra Arya by setting up a temporary factory on the riverfront. Later, there was a dispute between architects Anoop Bharatiya and Arya overtaking the credit for it and the latter returned without removing the bell from the mould.

Arya had claimed that the bell would be removed only after the chemicals he had used while casting the bell were made to react in a specific manner and no one had this information except him.

Earlier, he had accused the UIT and the contractor alleging that the credit for making the bell was given to its designer and the UIT contractor has also withheld payment of Rs 1.5 crore.

Arya had refused to take the bell out of the mould until the payment was received. “If I don’t take it out, no one will be able to do so.” After the statement, Arya had also called a press conference but cancelled it later.

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