A day after the bridge collapse in Varanasi that consumed the lives of at least 18 people, Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Bridge Corporation, Rajan Mittal, on Wednesday held thunderstorms responsible for the collapse. He further stressed that in the wake of the horrific accident, he has constituted a team to check all the under-construction sites and identify any security lapses there. Mittal also asserted that the corporation is ensuring the diversion of traffic from such sites.

While speaking to media, Rajan Mittal explained the possible reason for the collapse of the under-construction flyover. He said, “We think the lock of the bearing underneath the beam broke due to recent thunderstorms in the region that led to the accident. Traffic should’ve been diverted away from the construction site. We should learn from this incident.” Later in the day, a team of policemen and forensic experts were spotted at the Varanasi flyover conducting an investigation at the spot.

When asked what the bridge corporation is doing to avoid any repeat of such accidents in future, the managing director replied, “At all other project sites, we will ensure traffic in the area is diverted away from the site. We have made teams comprising of 6-7 people to identify all the sites and identify if there are any security lapses at those sites.”

Earlier on Tuesday during peak hours of traffic, the under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi’s Cantonment area. A huge slab fell on the road and crushed a mini-bus, four cars and several two-wheelers killing at least 18 people and leaving 11 injured. Uttar Pradesh government had come under fire for using poor quality of raw materials in the construction of the bridge and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn’t been bereft of the criticism since he represents the high-profile Lok Sabha constituency – Varanasi.

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