Officials told IANS that 18 dead bodies have been recovered and that the number of injured may run into hundreds. "For now, we are focussing on relief and rescue operations and a probe will be ordered later to ascertain the exact cause of the tragedy," the official added.
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Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has sanctioned compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased. Varanasi is also the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.