At least 68 people have died after a suspension bridge collapsed in India.

Government officials have confirmed the death toll after dozens of people plunged into the river below following the collapse.

The footbridge over the Machhu River in the town of Morbi in the Indian state of Gujarat collapsed on Sunday, just days after being reopened after renovations.

Authorities said more than 150 people were on the suspension bridge at the time.

Footage broadcast by local television channel Zee News showed people clinging to the cables of the collapsed bridge as emergency crews sought to rescue them.

Moving video footage shot by passers-by and shared on social media showed dozens of people, including children, scrambling to get out of the water and save the twisted structure of the broken bridge to safety.

Officials said the victims were mostly local residents who visited the bridge for recreation.

Amit Jhala, a senior administrator at the government hospital where the victims were taken, said while many people had been rescued, some were still missing.

The historic 230 meter bridge was built during British rule in the 19th century. It had been closed for renovations for six months and reopened to the public last week.

The bridge caved in as it could not support the number of people on it, officials told Press Trust India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Gujarat for a three-day visit, said he had ordered the state’s chief minister to urgently mobilize teams for the rescue operation.

An official tweet from his office announced that compensation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) would be offered to those caught up in the incident, with 200,000 Indian rupees offered to families of the dead (around £2,090) and 50,000 Indian rupees. (about £520) offered to the injured.

Morbi is one of the largest ceramic manufacturing clusters in the world and accounts for over 80% of India’s ceramic production.

The incident comes ahead of elections in Gujarat, which are expected to be held by the end of the year, with Modi’s ruling party’s current term ending in February 2023.

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