19 killed as under-construction flyover collapses in Varanasi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 May 2018 08:48:08



A PORTION of an under-construction flyover near the railway station here collapsed on Tuesday killing at least 19 persons while more were feared trapped under the debris, officials said. Nineteen bodies have been recovered from the Varanasi flyover collapse site, UP Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.

“It is feared that several people are buried under the rubble,” an official said, adding rescue teams were at spot to rescue those trapped.
Some vehicles, including a bus, were crushed in the collapse, they said. At least three persons had been rescued, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official said.

The Uttar Pradesh Bridge Construction Corporation was constructing the 2261-metre-long bridge at a cost of Rs 129 crore, officials said. The span which fell on Tuesday was laid barely three months ago, they added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha, and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the deaths. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya rushed to the spot, an official spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the Opposition targeted the State Government over the tragedy in the “top-priority constituency of the country”.

Chief Minister Adityanath set up a three-member committee to probe the flyover collapse. Adityanath also announced a Rs five lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs two lakh to the seriously injured, an official said.

The Chief Minister also directed the district administration and PWD officials to take all necessary steps for relief and rescue operations. “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,” Modi tweeted.

Rajnath takes stock of situation: Home Minister Rajnath Singh took stock of the situation in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi district where at least 18 people were killed when an under-construction bridge collapsed this afternoon.

Singh also expressed deep anguish over the tragedy. “HM also spoke to the district magistrate of Varanasi who has apprised him of the incident. The @NDRFHQ teams have been rushed to the spot for rescue operations,” the home minister’s office tweeted.

Singh also conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.