Eighteen persons were killed and more than 50 feared trapped as an under construction flyover collapsed on Tuesday in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official said.
The incident took place in front of the Varanasi Cantt Railway Station.
"Many cars are buried under the heap of rubble and over two dozen persons have been injured in the incident. The death toll may go up," a police official told IANS.
Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh said that additional police teams had been sent to Varanasi from neighbouring places to expedite the rescue operation.
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
According to Varanasi District Magistrate Rameshwar Mishra, the rescue operations were in full swing.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been dispatched to help the authorities in clearing the debris and pulling out the injured from the debris.
The flyover was being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation between Chauka Ghat bus stand and Lahartara.
I was at a distance of 50 m from the flyover when it collapsed, trapping people under it. 4 four-wheelers, an auto-rickshaw & a minibus were crushed by it. The help came after an hour: Eye-witnesses at Varanasi's Cantt area where portion of under-construction flyover collapsed. pic.twitter.com/Q70kiNUSHK— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018
Are those pitiless, corrupt contractors, and local govt officials/netas in nexus with them, be punished for the murder of so many innocents in #Varanasi flyover collapse? Who was the contractor? Who was supposed to survey their work quality? Condolences and compensation won’t do— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) May 15, 2018
Shocking visual of #Varanasi Flyover Collapse.— AAP मुंबई (@AAPMumbai) May 15, 2018
Sad to see such carelessness act of UP Govt , Contractor & Engineer.
Why was traffic not diverted/ blocked of under construction bridge ?
This is pure system negligence case.
Criminal case to be lodge agnst all official involved. pic.twitter.com/ipGB1fv7yw
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident. The committee has been asked to submit its findings within 48 hours, said a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya left for the site of the accident soon after the mishap occurred.
Mourning the loss of lives, Yogi Adityanath said: "My condolence with the affected families. I have sent Dy CM & minister Neelkanth Tiwari to the spot. Formed committee to look into the incident, report to come in 48 hours."
वाराणसी में निर्माणाधीन फ्लाईओवर के गिरने से 18 लोगों की हुई मृत्यु से आहत हूँ। बहुत सारे लोग घायल हुए हैं और कई अभी भी मलबे के तले दबे हैं जिनमें बच्चे भी शामिल हैं। स्थानीय कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं से अनुरोध है कि दुर्घटना से प्रभावित परिवारों की हर संभव मदद करें।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 15, 2018
"5 teams of NDRF (250 jawans) with full equipment rushed to the spot of accident in Varanasi. Compensation of Rs 5 lakh for kin of those dead and Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured in the incident," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet mourned the deaths, saying: "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."
"I spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Ji regarding the situation due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi. The Uttar Pradesh Government is monitoring the situation very closely and is working on the ground to assist the affected," he said.