8 killed as under construction flyover collapses in UP

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Lucknow, Sep 30 (UNI) At least eight people were crushed to death and 12 others injured after an under construction flyover on the busy Lucknow-Faizabad national highway under Chinhat police station collapsed in Uttar Pradesh capital today.

State Director General of Police (DGP) Vikram Singh has confirmed the death of five people in the accident. Three others succumbed later in hospital.

At least three people were still said to be trapped under the debris of the collapsed bridge and after a delay of three hours big cranes were pressed into service to recover the bodies.

Police sources said the injured were admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital here, where condition of four was stated critical.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati, who rushed to the spot within an hour of the incident, blamed the Centre for using sub-standard material in the construction work under taken by a private construction company under National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). She had also demanded a high level probe into the incident, in which poor labourers have also been killed.

The incident occurred around 1710 hrs and even after three hours, the rescue operations were underway and the police was trying to bring the big cranes near the spot to recover the bodies. A bicycle and a rickshaw were seen under the debris of the collapsed flyover.

Meanwhile, the locals said the police and the district authorities did not react swiftly to start the rescue work and they even hooted some of the police officials when they were engaged in managing the crowd rather than supervising the rescue work. Light showers also delayed the rescue work.

The eye-witnesses said the under construction flyover being constructed by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) tumbled down, when some minor construction work was underway. The NHAI was constructing the flyover to connect the other highways of the state capital through a circular road named as 'Sahid Path'.

On the preliminary investigation the police said the laxity on the part of the construction company was said to be the reason behind the accident.

In a message, UP Governor T V Rajeswar also mourned the deaths of several people in this incident.

BJP leader Lalji Tandon visited the spot and condoled the death of the labourers in the incident. He also blamed the Centre for delaying the construction work on the flyover, which was pending for last six years.

Former Prime Miniter Atal Bihar Vajpayee, had inaugurated the 'Saheed path' way back in 2003, but after UPA came to power, the work was stalled. The work in the project had started just a couple of months earlier.

Meanwhile, traffic on the busy Lucknow Faizabad road, a gateway to Eastern UP from the state capital, was paralaysed due to the incident and all the vehicles were being diverted to alternative routes.

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