Varanasi: At least twelve people died and more than 50 were feared trapped as a flyover under construction collapsed on Tuesday in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Indian 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 said.
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.
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.
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 [Deputy] CM & minister Neelkanth Tiwari to the spot. Formed committee to look into the incident, report to come in 48 hours.”
“Five teams of NDRF (250 jawans) with full equipment rushed to the spot of accident in Varanasi. Compensation of Rs500,000 for kin of those dead and Rs200,000 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.