Varanasi flyover collapsed due to thunderstorm, says official

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 16 (ANI): The under-construction flyover at Varanasi's Cantonment area collapsed due to the recent thunderstorms that struck the region a few days ago, weakening its structure, an official said on Wednesday. R. Mittal, the Managing Director (MD) of Bridge Corporation told ANI, "We think the lock of the bearing underneath the beam broke due to the recent thunderstorms that struck in the region, which led to the accident. The traffic should have been diverted away from the construction site. We should all learn from this incident." Stressing on the need to ensure such incidents do not occur again, he added, "At all other project sites, we will ensure the traffic in the area is diverted away from the site. We have made special teams comprising of six to seven people to identify all the sites and if there are any security lapses at those sites." Meanwhile, a forensic team conducted an investigation at the spot of the incident in Varanasi. At least 18 people were killed and 11 critically injured when a huge slab of a flyoverunder-construction in Varanasi's Cantt area came down after two pillars collapsed, crushing on cars and a local bus underneath. Post the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced ex-gratia for the affected families and met the victims at the Kabir Chaura Hospital in the city on late Tuesday night. Union Health and Family Welfare minister J.P. Nadda also directed the Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to stay in touch with the health officials of Uttar Pradesh.
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