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Varanasi bridge collapse: 18 dead, rescue work underway; top developments

BS Web Team/New Delhi 15 May 18 | 09:48 PM

Locals and rescue teams gather near crushed vehicles after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed, leaving at least 18 dead, in Varanasi | PTI photo

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has left to meet the victims of Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident. He will also visit the site of the incident, reported ANI. Home Minister Rajnath Singh took stock of the situation in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi district where the death toll has climbed up to 18 when an under construction flyover bridge collapsed this afternoon.

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After being held responsible for today's incident,Chief Project Manager HC Tiwari, Project Manager KR Sudan, Assistant Engineer Rajesh Singh & engineer Lal Chand have been suspended with immediate effect: UP Dy CM KP Maurya on Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident pic.twitter.com/KfTi5GFjBJ

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018Rajnath Singh also expressed his deep anguish over the Varanasi tragedy.

HM Shri @rajnathsingh has expressed his deep anguish over the death of several people due to collapse of an under construction bridge in Varanasi. He conveys his condolences to the families of the deceased and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured.

— HMO India (@HMOIndia) May 15, 2018"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.

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.

— HMO India (@HMOIndia) May 15, 2018Singh also conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

At least 18 people lost their lives and several are feared trapped after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed near a railway station in Varanasi on Tuesday. In the latest development, 18  bodies have been recovered and three have been safely rescued from the debris of collapsed flyover in Varanasi, reported ANI. The death is toll expected to rise. Around 7 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams of over 325 personnel have been deployed for relief operations at the site of Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident. 

ALSO READ: Varanasi flyover collapse: Rajnath takes stock of situation

After being held responsible for today's incident, Chief Project Manager HC Tiwari, Project Manager KR Sudan, Assistant Engineer Rajesh Singh & engineer Lal Chand have been suspended with immediate effect, said UP Deputy Chief Minister KP Maurya, ANI reported.

This is a very unfortunate incident & I'm deeply saddened by it. I'm going to meet the injured in the hospital. Culprits will not be spared. Will setup a committee to look into the matter: Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy CM on Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident pic.twitter.com/rHwDDDeHzx

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018Reportedly, the Varanasi District Magistrate office may take assistance from the Indian Army to carry further the rescue operation, reported Firstpost. Uttar Pradesh Police has requested people to stay away from accident site to avoid any harm. Meanwhile, former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav asked his party members to reach the accident site and help the people out there. 

ADG Crime UP, Shri Chandra Prakash addressing media on recent Varanasi disaster due to collapse of under-construction flyover. #varanasi #uppolice pic.twitter.com/lNLpyiDemY

— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) May 15, 2018

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for kin of those killed in the incident, Rs 200,000 for those who have been injured. CM Adityanath has also set up a three-member committee to probe flyover collapse, said a PTI report.

JP Nadda, Union Health & Family Welfare minister has directed Health Secretary to be in touch with health officials of Uttar Pradesh. Health Secretary Preeti Sudhan has spoken to Principal Health Secretary of UP & has offered all help for victims of Varanasi tragedy.

Locals and rescue teams gather near crushed vehicles after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed, leaving at least 12 feared dead, in Varanasi | PTI photo

The district administration rushed to the spot for rescue operation and more than a dozen cranes have been pressed into service. The reason for the collapse has not been ascertained yet. Many of those trapped are reported to be labourers who were working on the flyover, reported NDTV. Police force of 9 police stations are at the site and wards of Cantt hospital and district hospital have been evacuated for the injured, reported Firstpost.

Rescue & relief operations underway at the site of Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident. 16 bodies have been recovered till now, death toll expected to rise. 3 people rescued. pic.twitter.com/hsTq0F1Uob

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018The flyover that fell over have not been moved yet and people are still trapped under the broken portion of the flyover bridge. There are around 12 cranes at the spot but only 8 have been pressed into service. The injured people in the accident have been taken to Cancer hospital but the hospital is not equipped to handle such trauma cases. Meanwhile, boys from the Banaras Hindu University have reached the spot to help people. The critically injured are being taken to the BHU trauma centre for emergency treatment. 

16 bodies recovered, 3 people have been safely rescued: Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar on Varanasi under-construction flyover collapse incident pic.twitter.com/Xwpi7xeVFf

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018

The flyover was being constructed by Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation and was scheduled to be inaugurated last December. According to DM Yogeshwar Ram Mishra, five teams of NDRF have been deployed for the rescue operation. One city bus, five cars, two auto rickshaws and several motorcycles are trapped under the debris. NDRF has rescued five critically injured people, according to Firstpost.

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: UP CM Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/d5DHfEiq0a

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018

#Visuals from the site of collapse of portion of an under construction flyover, in Varanasi's Cantt. area; 12 people dead, several feared trapped, death toll expected to rise pic.twitter.com/5ABKL6hB4v

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018

#SpotVisuals More than 12 people dead, several feared trapped after portion of an under construction flyover collapses in Varanasi's Cantt. area pic.twitter.com/09byRFwSPx

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express grief over the unfortunate incident in Varanasi. PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “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."

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.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 15, 2018“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," PM Modi added in another tweet.

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.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 15, 2018Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Minister Neelkanth Tiwari have been directed by CM Yogi Adityanath to visit the incident spot. Addressing reporters, UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said that the chief minister has expressed grief and directed administration to speed up rescue operation.  Two ministers have also been sent to the city to take stock of the situation. The chief minister has directed the district administration and PWD officials to take all necessary steps for relief and rescue operations.

SpotVisuals from #Varanasi: Portion of an under construction flyover collapses near Varanasi Cantt railway station, several feared trapped pic.twitter.com/126cWZhEbj

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 15, 2018According to CNN News 18, DGP OP Singh said, "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 recalls the Kolkata flyover collapse and goes onto say that rescue operations are on in full swing.

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, 2018Local administration was providing emergency services with medical and other teams carrying out rescue work, reported PTI.

"It is feared that several people are buried under the rubble," a police official said. Reportedly, some vehicles were also crushed in the incident.

With inputs from agencies

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