A canopy at Gujarat’s Rajkot Airport collapsed on Saturday amid heavy rainfall, marking the third such incident at Indian airports in less than a week. The collapse occurred in the passenger pickup and drop-off area outside the terminal, with no injuries or casualties reported, according to a state government official.

The collapse occurred in the passenger pickup and drop-off area outside the terminal at the Rajkot Airport. (PTI)

The incident follows a tragic event at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal-1 on Friday, which resulted in one fatality and multiple injuries. Earlier in the week, a similar incident was reported at Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur airport, raising concerns about infrastructure safety at Indian airports.

Video footage circulating on social media showed airport officials inspecting the site of the collapse in Rajkot. People familiar with the matter in the government said that the canopy broke during maintenance work to remove accumulated water. “A detailed report has been sought to understand the cause of the collapse and to prevent such incidents in the future,” an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Rajkot Airport, a greenfield facility built by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2023, is located 25 km from Rajkot at Hirasar village. The incident has raised questions about the quality of construction and maintenance at recently developed infrastructure projects.

The collapse coincides with widespread rainfall across Gujarat, triggered by a cyclonic circulation over the southern part of the state. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘yellow alert’ for south Gujarat, warning of heavy showers on Saturday and in the coming days.

“The cyclonic circulation, previously over central Gujarat, has shifted southward, extending up to 4.5 km above mean sea level,” according to IMD bulletin. “This shift is expected to sustain active monsoon conditions in Gujarat during the forecast period.”

The IMD’s release detailed heavy rainfall expected at isolated locations in Valsad, Navsari, and the Union territory of Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli on Saturday. Similar heavy showers are anticipated in Gandhinagar, Kheda, Ahmedabad, Anand, Navsari, and Valsad districts, as well as in Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli on Sunday, with the wet spell forecasted to continue until July 3.

Congress party was quick to criticize the government, posting on X (formerly Twitter): “Third airport accident in three days. Now the picture of ‘development’ has emerged in Rajkot. This airport was inaugurated by Narendra Modi – just 1 year ago.”

Reacting to the canopy collapse outside Rajkot airport, the BJP on Saturday said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru should not be blamed for the incident, as “he didn’t build airports on the scale that was required.”

Taking a jibe at Congress, BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya stated on his official X handle, “Rajkot airport’s canopy cloth tearing away because of heavy wind and rain is not the same as infrastructure collapsing. Yesterday, MoCA ordered a security review of all small and big airports in the country.”

“Left to him, we would all be traveling in bullock carts, certified by DRDO,” BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya said.