Varanasi flyover collapse kills 18; many trapped under debris

Varanasi flyover collapse kills 18; many trapped under debris

At least 18 people were killed and many others were trapped under the debris when an under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi on Tuesday evening.

The State government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased and Rs 2 lakhs each to the injured.

Varanasi bridge collapse (ANI/Ventuno)

As per the initial reports, 16 people were reported dead but as per the sources, it is believed the death toll may increase. The deceased bodies have been recovered from the site and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has sent a team to assist in relief and rescue operations.

Many people are feared trapped under the collapsed under-construction flyover and rescue operations are underway.

The flyover was being constructed by state government and Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister has set up a three-member committee to find out the reason for the accident. The committee need to submit the report within 48 hours.

As per the reports, two pillars and a girder of the under-construction Chaukaghat-Lehertara flyover in cantonment area in Varanasi collapsed. Most of the people like labourers and passersby under the bridge were trapped in the debris. Many vehicles like car, bus were also crushed under the debris.

The labourers were working at the construction site without any safety equipment and also traffic was also being allowed alongside the flyover. Rescue operations were started with three JCBs removing the debris. But it was a tough task to remove the girder due to less space and public. Gas cutters were used to cut the debris.

A boundary wall next to the flyover was destroyed to ease bigger construction vehicles to assist in rescue operations.

All hospitals in Varanasi have been put on alert as more persons will be taken out of debris. Medical team also rushed to the spot to rescue people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and tweeted: “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”.

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