16 killed in Varanasi flyover collapse, probe ordered (Third Lead)

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Varanasi, May 15 (IANS) At least 16 persons have been killed and another four are trapped under rubble after a spam of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi — the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official said on Tuesday.

The mishap took place in front of the local Cantt railway station. Two dozen persons have been injured in the incident, a police official said.

Many cars have been buried under the heap of rubble, district officials said, adding that the death toll could go up once the operation to clear the debris is completed.

The flyover was being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation.

Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar informed that seven NDRF teams comprising 325 men have been deployed at the mishap site. “16 dead bodies have been recovered so far and three persons have been pulled out alive from under the debris,” he told IANS, adding adding that three-four people could still be trapped.

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Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a three-member committee comprising Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Raj Pratap Singh, Irrigation Chief Engineer Bhupendra Sharma and Rajesh Mittal, the Managing Director of UP Jal Nigam, to probe the incident and submit a report within the next 48-hours.

The team has been asked to immediately leave for Varanasi and hold investigations.

Varanasi District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra said for now their prime focus is on rescue and relief work.

Work on the flyover between Chauka Ghat bus stand and Lahartara had been initiated during the regime of the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has mourned the loss of lives in the mishap and directed officials to ensure prompt rescue and relief, a state government spokesman informed.

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Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has already left for the site of mishap, he said.

A compensation of Rs 5 lakh each has been announced for the families of dead and Rs 2 lakh for those critically injured in the mishap.

–IANS

md/nir

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