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Varanasi bridge collapse: 18 killed, toll likely to go up; top developments

VARANSAI (AFP): Eighteen people were killed and dozens more are feared trapped after a pillar of a flyover under construction near the Cantonment railway station crashed in Varanasi on Tuesday evening. A bus and half a dozen vehicles were also crushed by falling debris.

The national disaster response force (NDRF) has launched a rescue operation at the site.

NDRF inspector Neeraj Kumar said rescue teams have recovered eighteen bodies, adding that the toll is likely to rise.

Eyewitness said that the pillar of the flyover collapsed suddenly and people passing by came under its debris. Few vehicles which were parked or passing by the under construction flyover came under it.

Unconfirmed source said that over two dozen people are feared trapped under debris.

The flyover is being constructed between Lahartara and Chauka Ghat.

Chief ministerYogi Adityanath has directed the district administration and PWD officials to take all necessary steps for rescue work, said a state government spokesperson.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying that he has spoken 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,” he said.

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