At least 25 killed after under-construction flyover collapses in Varanasi

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Varanasi: As many as 25 people were feared killed when an under-construction bridge caved in near Cantonment Railway Station in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Latest updates say that 18 bodies had been recovered and three people had been safely rescued, according to the relief commissioner. Five people were injured, but out of danger; two people were seriously injured.
The Indian Army was called in at the collapse site. The 39 Gorkha Rifles Jawans were helping the NDRF and Police teams in rescue operations.
The total cost of the four-lane bridge was estimated at Rs 108.24 crore. It was 2,356 meters long from Chowkaghat to Lehartara Cancer Institute.
District officials claimed that it was sheer negligence and safety rules were grossly ignored by the government agency and its contractors. The traffic under the bridge leads to GT Road making it one of the busiest spot in Varanasi. Traffic is generally jammed for hours under the bridge during peak hours.
The construction of the four-lane over-bride was delayed and the PMO had directed the UP Bridge Corporation to complete it by June end for its inauguration by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, eye-witnesses claimed that more than 50 people and over two dozen vehicles were trapped under the debris when the under-construction bridge collapsed on Tuesday evening at around 5 pm when traffic was at its peak. Many among those trapped included labors and passersby.
Rescue operation is on and the NDRF team has rushed to the spot to supervise the relief and rescue operations. The Mini PMO in Varanasi has apprised the Prime Minister’s Office in Delhi about the tragedy and sought immediate help from the Center.
PM said,” 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”. He further said. ” I spoke to UP CM Yogi Adityanath Ji regarding the situation due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi. The UP Government is monitoring the situation very closely and is working on the ground to assist the affected.”
Eye-witnesses alleged that the rescue operation was delayed for about an hour after the incident. “The rescue and medical teams reached the incident site late by an hour after we informed the police,” alleged Prateek, an eye-witness.
The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief and concern over the incident. He has rushed the Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Varanasi to take stock of the situation and ensure that injured are given proper medical aid.
The Chief Minister has also ordered a high-level inquiry and announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the family of those killed and Rs. 2 lakh to those seriously injured.
The bridge was being constructed by the UP Bridge Corporation, which comes under the PWD ministry held by Keshav Prasad Maurya. The CM office is directly monitoring the rescue operations. The Chief Minister has also apprised the Prime Minister about the incident. The State Health Minister and Spokesperson Dr. Sidharth Nath Singh said medical teams and ambulances from the BHU, district and other hospitals are at the spot to take injured to the hospitals.

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