The 2.2 km long flyover was being constructed from Chowkaghat to Lehertara area. The incident happened near Varanasi's Cancer Hospital in Sigra near Cantt Railway Station.
According to the project officer K.R. Sudan, UP State Bridge Corporation, the cause of the collapse is yet to be ascertained.
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Local media reported that a handful of people had been successfully rescued, as seven cranes attempted to lift the concrete pillar.
Several construction workers who were working on the site were among the dead and the critically injured.More news: Father of kids killed in Australian massacre speaks out
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An official told IANS that most vehicles trapped beneath tonnes of concrete and iron have been removed. Other victims were also pulled from sections of a bus. The PM expressed his condolences and support to the people of Varanasi.
After the incident, the chief minister announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for the kin of those killed in the incident, and Rs 200,000 for those who had been injured.
The Uttar Pradesh government constituted a three-member committee of Agriculture Production Commissioner Raj Pratap Singh, Irrigation Department Chief Engineer Bhupendra Sharma and Jal Nigam Managing Director Rajesh Mittal to probe the collapse and submit a report within 48 hours. The portion of the bridge that collapsed was laid only two months ago. Police are also opening a formal investigation into the UP State Bridge Corporation, a public sector company. Modi had then said the crash was God's message to the people of Bengal to save the state from the ruling Trinamul Congress. Maurya also announced the setting up of a Setu Suraksha Cell to prevent such incidents. Standard safety protocols were either non-existent or not followed.
In 2016, a cavity developed on Lohia bridge over the Gomti in Lucknow. Stern action would be taken against the guilty.