Varanasi flyover collapse: A look at tragedies in Uttar Pradesh during Yogi Adityanath's tenure so far

FP Staff
Yogi Adityanath and Asaduddin Owaisi, who are calling each other names in the run-up to the Telangana Assembly elections, have many things in common

An under-construction flyover in Varanasi collapsed on Tuesday evening, killing 18 persons, and while rescue operations are still underway, dozens are feared to be trapped in the debris. It was the latest tragedy to hit Uttar Pradesh, a state which has found itself to be on the receiving end of several such accidents in the one year since Yogi Adityanath took charge as chief minister.

Here's a brief look back at the many tragedies to have hit India's most populous state under Adityanath's charge.

Gorakhpur infant deaths:

On 11 August last year, over 60 infant children died at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College within a span of 48 hours. It was later proved that a disruption in oxygen supply led to the deaths.

It later emerged that the oxygen supply to the hospital was stopped by the vendor over unpaid bills. As reported by Hindustan Times, the oxygen supply at the medical college was allegedly stopped after the suppliers' bill of Rs 67 lakh was not cleared. The medical hospital is the largest in Gorakhpur, which used to be Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's former parliamentary constituency.

The state administration swung into action a few days later and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said a report had been sought from all medical colleges and hospitals in the state regarding availability of oxygen or payment issues, and added that everything had been found in order.

Farrukhabad hospital deaths:

But the government's claims were found to be ringing hollow within one month. In a shocking repeat of the Gorakhpur infant deaths, 49 children died in one month at a hospital in Farrukhabad, 450 kilometres to the West. Of the 49 children to have died in Farrukhabad, 30 were in the neo-natal ICU and 19 died during delivery.

City magistrate Jaynendra Kumar Jain and SDM Ajit Kumar Singh said their probe found that 30 deaths were due to lack of oxygen. They also mentioned in their report that the CMO and the CMS did not cooperate and did not give a correct report.

"During the period, 30 children died mostly due to perinatal asphyxia (a condition in which a child does not breathe normally just before, during, or after birth). During probe, the parents informed that there was delay in providing oxygen and medicine due to which the children died due to lack of adequate supply of oxygen," Jain said in the report.

Chitrakoot train derailment:

Thirteen coaches of the Vasco Da Gama-Patna express jumped the rails near Manikpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh on 24 November last year. The Patna-bound Vasco da Gama Express (12741) derailed at 4.18 am, soon after leaving Manikpur railway station in Chitrakoot district, about 250 km from Lucknow, he said. Among the deceased was a six-year-old boy and his father, while dozens were feared injured as well.

Adityanath declared Rs 50,000 for each of thosee seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who suffered minor injuries, an official release said. Expressing grief over the death of passengers, the chief minister conveyed his sympathies to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery to those injured.

Kushinagar railway crossing accident:

Thirteen children lost their lives after a train rammed into a school bus at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar town on 26 April this year.

The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot when the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the vehicle carrying them at an unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, officials said. The train was on its way to Gorakhpur from Siwan. There were at least 25 passengers, including children, in the vehicle which was smashed under the massive impact of the accident.

Following the accident, thousands of protesters made their way to the spot to protest against the railways and also against the state government. It later emerged that the school bus driver was at fault. "He is said to have earphones on... all the facts will be known in the inquiry headed by the commissioner of Gorakhpur," Adityanath told the media after visiting the district hospital at Kushinagar where he met the injured.

Dust storms:

A deadly dust storm blew across Uttar Pradesh last week, killing 73 people and injuring over 91. It was part of a series of storms that hit north India, blowing across the states of Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, in which over 100 people were killed. The worst-hit part was Agra district, which alone saw 43 deaths. Additionally, 160 animals also died due to the storms, said The Hindu, of which 150 were in Agra alone.

Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtara, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Meteorological Department (IMD) had said.

Varanasi bridge collapse:

On Tuesday, 15 May, an under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi's Cantonment area, in front of the Varanasi Cantt Railway Station. Eighteen people were reported to have been killed in the tragedy, and officials fear the toll may rise even further. "Many cars are buried under the heap of rubble and over two dozen persons have been injured in the incident. The death toll may go up," a police official told IANS.

The flyover was being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation between Chauka Ghat bus stand and Lahartara.

Adityanath has formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident. The committee has been asked to submit its findings within 48 hours, said a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.

With inputs from agencies

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