At least 18 killed as under-construction flyover collapses in Varanasi; many feared trapped under debris

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has set up a three-member committee to probe the flyover collapse in Varanasi. 

At least 18 killed as under-construction flyover collapses in Varanasi; many feared trapped under debris

Varanasi/Lucknow: A portion of an under-construction flyover near the railway station collapsed in Varanasi on Tuesday, killing at least 18 persons. Eighteen bodies have been recovered from the Varanasi flyover collapse site, UP Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told PTI in Lucknow.

Some vehicles, including a bus, were crushed in the collapse, officials further told the news agency, adding that at least three persons had been rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Many are feared to be trapped under the debris. Rescue operations are on.

The Uttar Pradesh Bridge Construction Corporation was constructing the 2261-metre-long bridge at a cost of Rs 129 crore. The span which fell was laid barely three months ago.  

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set up a three-member committee to probe the flyover collapse. He announced a Rs five lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs two lakh to the seriously injured. The CM also directed the district administration and PWD officials to take all necessary steps for relief and rescue operations. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha and Yogi, expressed grief over the deaths.

"Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi. I pray that the injured recover soon. Spoke to officials and asked them to ensure all possible support to those affected," the PM tweeted.

Meanwhile, Opposition Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attacked the state government over the incident. "This is the reality of development in the top-priority constituency of the country. The ministers of the state used to visit this district for regular inspections. Is this incident an accident or result of corruption? This should be told to the people of Varanasi by the state government," the SP chief said.

(With Agency inputs)

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