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18 dead, over 50 trapped as under construction flyover collapses in Varanasi

Gorkha Post

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VARANASI — At least 18 people have died and 50 other are feared trapped under the debris after a portion of an under construction flyover collapsed in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi today,officials said.

18 bodies have been recovered from the Varanasi flyover collapse site, UP Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told PTI in Lucknow.

“It is feared that several people are buried under the rubble,” an official said, adding rescue teams were at spot to rescue those trapped.

Some vehicles, including a bus, were crushed in the collapse, they said.

The Uttar Pradesh Bridge Construction Corporation was constructing the 2261-metre-long bridge at a cost of Rs 129 crore, officials said. The span which fell today was laid barely three months ago, they added. The portion of the flyover that fell had been laid as recently as February.

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Eight cranes are being used to try to lift the debris and a crane with a 200 tonne lifting capacity is also being called in.

Officials say gas cutters are being used and the first priority is to pull out those trapped.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an inquiry report in 48 hours and has also directed his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and minister Neelkanth Tiwari to visit the spot.

“The chief minister has expressed grief and directed the administration to speed up rescue operation,” UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh told ANI.

Agencies

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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