India flyover collapse kills 18 in Varanasi

India flyover collapse kills 18 in Varanasi

Lucknow: At least 18 people died Tuesday after a flyover collapsed in northern India , crushing vehicles and passengers under tonnes of concrete, a rescue official said.

Rescue workers rushed to the site in Varanasi city where an unknown number of people were still feared trapped under the debris, in the latest of a string of deadly construction accidents in India.

"Eighteen bodies have been recovered so far by our teams. Seven teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) are engaged in rescue operation which is underway," an official in the disaster control room told AFP.

TV footage showed mangled vehicles trapped under heavy cement girders with huge crowds gathered around.

A witness said a section of the flyover, which was still under construction, collapsed onto the street, crushing buses and cars.

"I was near the flyover when it collapsed. At least four cars, an auto-rickshaw and a minibus were crushed under it," the witness told reporters in Varanasi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Enforcement of safety rules in India is weak and substandard materials are often used in construction. APP/AFP

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