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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

18 people died; many feared to be trapped under construction bridge collapsed in Varanasi

By on Wednesday, May 16, 2018
 
At least 18 people have died and several are feared to be trapped after a portion of an under construction flyover's slab collapse in Varanasi(Eastern district), 300 KM away from the state capital of Uttar Pradesh. Two pillars of the under construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi's Cantt area, bringing a huge slab of concrete down, crushing cars and a local bus plying under it
Three people have been pulled out of the debris. Many of those trapped are reported to be labourers who were working for the flyover.
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF have been deployed to lead the rescue operations. Dozens of policemen are also present at the spot with the locals.
Eight cranes are being used to try to lift the debris of slabs and a crane with a 200 tonne lifting capacity is also being called in.
Officials say gas cutters are being used and the first priority is to pull out those who are under its trap.
An eyewitness, who was 50 metres from the collapse site, said the help came in after an hour. "Four cars, an auto-rickshaw and a minibus were crushed by it... The help came after an hour," the eyewitness said.
The flyover, 2261 metres in length and at a cost of Rs. 129 crore, was being built by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation and 56 per cent construction had been completed. The portion of the flyover that fell had been laid as recently as February.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an inquiry report in 48 hours and has also directed his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and minister Neelkanth Tiwari to visit the spot. "The chief minister has expressed grief and directed the administration to speed up rescue operation," UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh told ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to say that he has spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible help to those affected. "I spoke to UP CM Yogi Adityanath Ji regarding this accident of an under-construction flyover collapse in Varanasi. The UP Government is monitoring the situation very closely and is working on the ground to assist the affected," he said.
The Congress tweeted to say, "We are deeply saddened by the news of the collapse of an under construction flyover in Varanasi. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives. We wish those who are injured a speedy recovery."
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav appealed to the workers of his Samajwadi Party to assist the rescue teams. He also tweeted, "I hope the government will not just wash their hands off by paying compensation, rather will order a fair investigation."

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