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Lucknow: Four die as flyover caves in

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Last updated on: September 30, 2008 20:18 IST
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At least four persons were killed and about a dozen injured when the portion of a flyover under construction came crashing down in Lucknow on Tuesday evening.

Some bodies could be seen stuck under the debris even two hours after the mishap.

While local cops confirmed four deaths , they feared more deaths.  Nine of the injured were hospitalized .

"Eleven persons were admitted to the Lohia Hospital , where the condition of four was stated to be serious", a senior police official told reporters.

"We are getting the debris removed to look for those who were still stuck under the collapsed structure", said  Lucknow senior superintendent of police Akhil Kumar. He was unable to say how many persons could be stuck under the cement concrete slabs that collapsed.

The flyover was part of a 28-km Ring Road being built around Lucknow .

The project was initiated by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was also the local MP then. The project was neglected after  his government fell.

Absence of allocation of funds to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) , that was entrusted with the task, left the project in a lurch until it was revived a few months ago.

NHAI had awarded the contract for the construction to Hindustan Construction Company.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati, who rushed to the scene of the mishap, flayed the Union government for "substandard construction."

Talking to mediapersons at the spot, she said , "I am going to write to the Union government about the sub-standard construction being carried out by their agency."

She added, "Cases of criminal negligence will be registered against all those involved in the construction work."

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow