Highway overpass collapses in India, killing at least 18
LUCKNOW, India - A highway overpass being built in north India collapsed, killing at least 18 people when an immense concrete slab slammed down onto the crowded road below, disaster officials said.
Five injured people were pulled from the wreckage, police said. Two were seriously hurt.
Local media reports said that four officials from the state construction agency were suspended in the wake of the collapse on Tuesday.
Rescuers and crane operators worked through the night in the city of Varanasi to try to reach all the victims, but more people were still feared trapped beneath the wreckage, which had crushed four cars, motorcycles and a bus. It was not clear how many people were in the vehicles. The slab appeared to be at least 50 feet (15 meters) long and 6 feet (2 meters) wide.
"There was sudden rumble and within seconds we saw" the vehicles crushed, local resident Ramesh Kumar Singh said in a telelphone interview. "It took at least a minute for the people around to realize what exactly had happened."
Most of those killed were in vehicles traveling beneath the overpass, said senior police officer P.V. Ramasastry.
The state's top official ordered a probe into the collapse. He also announced a 500,000 rupee ($7,200) payment to families of those who died.
India has a long history of construction accidents caused by poor materials and inadequately trained workers. In 2016, a long stretch of elevated road being built through the city of Calcutta collapsed, killing 26 people and leaving 11 severely injured.
Prime Minister Narendra, whose political home is in Varanasi, said in a tweet that he was "extremely saddened" by the accident. "I pray that the injured recover soon."
Varanasi, an ancient temple city on the banks of the Ganges River, is a center of pilgrimage for Hindus.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
La. officials, industry leaders react to Biden moratorium on new drilling leases
Entergy customers concerned about high January bills after meter switch
LSU 'shocked' by death of doctor taken hostage in Texas
Friends, colleagues reflect on Steve Carter's impact in and out of politics
Million dollar delay? Payment paused amid questions over road construction delay costs
Baton Rouge CC men's hoops gets first win of season versus Oakleaf...
How being forced to sit out turned Scotlandville's Emareyon McDonald's into a...
LSU releases 2021 fall football schedule
Madison Prep knocks off another ranked opponent with win over Zachary
Donaldsonville women's basketball snaps Walker's 16-game win streak