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Varanasi flyover collapse: Yogi says preliminary action taken
From the Web Desk, 16/05/2018, Varanasi

Preliminary action had been taken against erring authorities responsible for the Varanasi flyover collapse that killed at least 15 people and critically injured 11 on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said this morning. Two pillars of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi's Cantt area had collapsed the previous day, bringing down a huge slab, which crushed a mini-bus, cars and two-wheelers.

Several people got crushed or trapped under the debris in the incident, which took place during peak traffic hours on Tuesday evening. Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said that around 7 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams of over 325 personnel had been deployed for relief operations at the site of Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident. Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav also asked his party members to reach the accident site and help the people there.

Work on the flyover between Chauka Ghat bus stand and Lahartara had been initiated during the Samajwadi Party rule.

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.

Meanwhile, KR Sudan, the project manager of the flyover, said the reason behind the mishap could only be ascertained after the completion of the investigation.

Earlier in the evening, the district administration had rushed to the spot for rescue operations and more than a dozen cranes had been pressed into service. Many of those trapped were reported to be labourers working on the flyover, according to an NDTV report.

The flyover was being constructed by Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation and was scheduled to be inaugurated last December.

Addressing reporters last evening, UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh had said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had directed the administration to speed up rescue operation. Two ministers were also sent to the city to take stock of the situation. The chief minister directed the district administration and PWD officials to take all necessary steps for relief and rescue operations.

DGP OP Singh was quoted by media reports as saying: "We are in the process of evacuating the 50 people trapped under the debris. A majority of the people trapped are suspected to be the construction workers." Singh also recalled the Kolkata flyover collapse and went on to say that rescue operations were on in full swing.



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