At least 18 persons died and several others were feared trapped in the rubble after a portion of an under-construction overhead bridge collapsed in the Cantonment area of Varanasi on Tuesday. Many vehicles, including two-wheelers, that were passing by were crushed under the weight of the concrete slabs of the flyover, which was being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation.
Several people got crushed or trapped under the debris in the incident, which took place during peak traffic hours on Tuesday evening. After the incident, the chief minister announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for the kin of those killed in the incident, and Rs 200,000 for those who had been injured. He also met victims at the Kabir Chaura Hospital on late Tuesday night.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took stock of the situation in Varanasi. Union Health and Family Welfare minister J P Nadda directed Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to stay in touch with the health officials of Uttar Pradesh.
The flyover was being constructed by Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation and was scheduled to be inaugurated last December. Holding them prima facie responsible, the government suspended the chief project manager H. Tiwari, project manager K.R. Sudan and an assistant engineer and engineer for the incident. The UP state bridge corporation will now have a safety audit cell, said deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met some of the persons injured in the incident in Varanasi.
Five National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, with about 250 personnel, rushed to the accident site.
An NDRF official said at least three people were rescued. Rescue workers used metal cutters to free people caught in their vehicles.
The Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation Ltd is building the 2,261-metre bridge at a cost of Rs 129 crore, officials said. The span which fell today was laid barely three months ago, they added.
Help came after an hour
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. (Source)
Pm Modi tweeted about the incident
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “extremely saddened by the loss of lives” in his constituency. “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,” the PM tweeted.
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.
Here is the video
— Rubika Liyaquat (@politicalkirti) May 15, 2018
People expressed their outrage on social media and questioned the common man safety. Here are few selective trending tweets!
Bridge collapse in Varanasi, tragic indeed. I witnessed a similar collapse in Uri in 2008 with the Army rushing to assist in rescue operations. Sometimes I feel apprehensive of all these companies constructing these massive projects. Do they all have the expertise and safety mech
— Syed Ata Hasnain (@atahasnain53) May 15, 2018
Such disturbing visuals coming from Varanasi, where part of a flyover collapsed, burying many people. This is not an accident but manslaughter. No matter, who’s in the power, accountability for human lives in third-world countries like ours never seems to be there. pic.twitter.com/m3Sb0gQPa1
— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) May 15, 2018
Heart wrenching images from #Varanasi. 12 dead & Many trapped. And Media still busy in Karnataka Elections. UP govt was quick to announce compensation. Apart from giving compensation to victims, take actions against the Construction Company, Officials & Politicians involved in it
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) May 15, 2018
What happened in #Varanasi is another example of how cheap our lives are here in India .
— Pankhuri Pathak (@pankhuripathak) May 15, 2018
Heart goes out to all families who have lost loved ones in the flyover collapse in Varanasi. Deepest condolences.
Hope there can be a national review of infrastructure that may need repairing or replacing.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) May 16, 2018
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