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  1. Varanasi flyover accident: 18 killed, 5 officials suspended, Yogi Adityanath orders probe; top highlights

Varanasi flyover accident: 18 killed, 5 officials suspended, Yogi Adityanath orders probe; top highlights

Varanasi flyover collapse: Tragedy struck Varanasi after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2018 7:53 AM
VARANASI FLYOVER COLLAPSE Varanasi flyover accident: At least 18 people killed after the concrete girder crushed several vehicles. (Image @ANI)

Varanasi flyover collapse: Tragedy struck Varanasi after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday. At least 18 people killed after the concrete girder crushed several vehicles. The incident happened last evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the incident. While Union Home Minister has taken the stock of the situation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had formed a three-member committee to start an investigation into the incident. Many bodies have recovered from the debris even as officials feared that the toll may increase.

Here are latest developments and top highlights of Varanasi flyover accident

The tragedy reminiscent of the flyover collapse in Kolkata two years back when over 25 people were killed. The incident took place around 4 pm on the road that leads to the Varanasi-Allahabad highway. A mini bus and four cars came under the slab, officials said. Eight to 10 two-wheelers were also trapped, Director General of Police OP Singh told PTI.

The flyover was being built by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation Ltd. Reports say, it was 2,261-metre bridge which was being built at a cost of Rs 129 crore, officials said. The span which fell today was laid barely three months ago, according to officials. Chief Project Manager H C Tiwari and three others were suspended late tonight. It has been learnt that authorities said no work was going on when the concrete slab crashed.

The state government probe is being headed by Agriculture Production Commissioner Raj Pratap Singh and will include Irrigation Department head Bhupendra Singh and Jal Nigam MD Rajesh Mittal, Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said. One of the members of the panel formed by the Yogi government to carry out probe into the fateful incident Raj Pratap Singh said he could not comment now. ” Until we complete the investigation, talk to everyone and check all the records, it won’t be right to say anything,” Singh was quoted as saying by ANI. CM Adityanath has asked the panel to submit a report within 48 hours.

Hoover, the Central government was mobilising all resources, including the Army, for relief and rescue efforts, according to an official. According to reports, 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.

PM Modi had also spoken to Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath. He expressed grief over the deaths while the opposition targeted the UP government over the tragedy in the “top-priority constituency of the country”. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Governor Ram Naik and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the deaths.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh took stock of the situation. Singh also conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.. “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.

Meanwhile, Opposition Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attacked the state government, suggesting that corruption led to the tragedy. “This is the reality of development in the top-priority constituency of the country. The ministers of the state used to visit this district for regular inspections. Is this incident an accident or result of corruption? This should be told to the people of Varanasi by the state government,” the SP chief said.

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