Seven killed as flyover crashes in Lucknow (Second Lead)September 30th, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Sep 30 (IANS) At least seven people were killed and many injured when an under-construction flyover collapsed here Tuesday evening. Around 20 people are trapped under the debris.The flyover, located along the Lucknow-Faizabad Road, has been under construction for over two years. Many shops were run from under it and people would park their vehicles under it.
Chaos prevailed in the Chinhat area where the flyover is located as hundreds of angry residents gathered and staged a demonstration.
Chief Minister Mayawati rushed to the spot and instructed the administration to rescue the trapped people.
Mayawati, who spent five minutes at the spot, told reporters that an inquiry would be ordered into the collapse. She said that the flyover was a centrally funded project initiated by the National Highways Authority of India. She also announced that compensation would be given to the families of those killed.
The chief minister blamed the accident on the central government and said work on the flyover had started six years ago but it was never completed by successive central governments.
Rohit Kumar, a grocery shop owner nearby, said: “It happened around 5.30 p.m. I heard a kind of a loud cracking sound, then the iron beams came crashing down and the bridge crumbled.”
Ashok Gupta, who owns an electrical goods shop there, said: “There are at least 3-4 cars and some scooters and bicycles crushed under the bridge.”
The injured were rushed to hospital. Five cranes were brought in to rescue those trapped under the debris. Angry bystanders claimed the cranes arrived three hours after the incident.
People alleged that despite several complaints that the under-construction flyover could come crashing down, no attentiobn was paid to it. “The iron girders were rusting for a long time and the construction could collapse anytime. And this is what happened,” a member of the angry mob told IANS.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also blamed the UPA government for the accident.
Senior state BJP leader Lalji Tandon said, “Our government had started the project but the UPA government later ignored it.”
The project was launched from the discretionary fund of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a Member of Parliament from Lucknow.
Samajwadi Party leader Prem Prakash Verma told journalists that it was the duty of the state government to ensure that the project was completed.
State Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said the local government should have ensured timely execution of the project.