Construction defects are responsible for the crack that appeared on the MA Mannan flyover in Chattogram, according to a Bangladesh Fire Services and Civil Defence inspection team.
After an initial observation on Wednesday morning, inspector Shamsul Alam said they found a "construction fault" crack.
"Many are speculating the crack resulted from errors made during the casting process. We think the same so far but a final report will be submitted after further inspection," Alam added.
Meanwhile, officials of the flyover construction company Max International, and consulting firm Design Planning and Consignment (DPM), have termed the crack an "unfinished construction joint."
Engineer Md Shajahan Alam, director DPM, said what looks like a crack from the outside is not a crack. It is an unfinished joint.
"Pillars are made step by step. After completing one stage, the next one is done. The crack appeared as a result of some concrete and plaster coming out from one such joint," he added.
Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) is blaming the movement of overloaded vehicles for the crack.
CDA Chief Engineer Kazi Hasan bin Shams said, "This part of the flyover was originally built for lightweight vehicles. Overloaded vehicles might have caused the pillar to crack."
Shams said the height barrier installed to prevent overloaded vehicles from plying on the flyover was removed during the last city corporation mayor A J M Nasir Uddin's time in office for some construction work on the road below.
Rezaul Karim, the current mayor of Chattogram City Corporation, said when his office took charge of the flyover, there was no height barrier.
To reduce traffic in the city, the CDA took the initiative to build MA Mannan flyover from the city's toll plaza to Bahaddarhat, a distance of one kilometre. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone in January 2010 and later the Bangladesh Army was entrusted with the responsibility of supervising its construction work. The prime minister inaugurated the flyover on 12 October 2013.
Four years after construction, former CDA chairman Abdus Salam added a ramp to Arakan Road for the flyover. Vehicles coming from Muradpur of the city using the ramp travel one way towards Chandgaon and Bahaddarhat bus terminals. The CDA handed over four flyovers, including this flyover, to Chattogram City Corporation in December 2019.