India Morbi Bridge collapse: Collapsed India Bridge that killed 134 people was recently repaired, official says



New Delhi
CNN

The death toll rose to 134 after a suspension bridge collapsed in India’s Gujarat state on Sunday, as authorities revealed the structure had only recently reopened after repairs.

Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said on Monday that around 200 people were on the Morbi town bridge when it collapsed into the river below on Sunday evening. A cable at one end appears to have snapped, he added.

The victims include 30 children, district officials told CNN on Monday.

A total of 170 people have been rescued so far, according to Vishal Kanjaria, an administrative official in Morbi district. Some remain in hospital and others have returned home, although the exact breakdown is not yet known.

The state of Gujarat has filed a criminal complaint against the agency which looked after the maintenance of the 230-meter-long bridge, which was built in the 19th century and reopened last week after renovations, he said.

Photos from Monday’s scene showed people gathering on the bank of the Machchhu River next to the mangled metal footbridge, which hung at a sharp angle in the water, where rescuers in dinghies searched for survivors.

A special five-person investigative committee has been set up to investigate the incident, Sanghavi said, as part of an ongoing search and rescue operation by hundreds of national and national rescue teams. Disaster and Indian Army.

Speaking at a press conference in the early hours of Monday, Sanghavi did not specify the number of people missing, but a video on social media showed dozens in the water after the collapse of the bridge.

Television footage showed people holding the cables and the remains of the bridge as emergency crews tried to reach them, Reuters reported. Some scaled the destroyed structure to reach the banks of the river, while others swam to safety.

Speaking later on Monday, senior police official Ashok Yadav said seven of the injured are still in hospital, while 56 people have been released after being treated.

Rescue personnel conduct search operations on October 31, 2022.

Families of the victims will receive compensation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking at a campaign event ahead of a state-level election in Gujarat on Monday, Modi said his “heart is filled with love and is with the families of those who are suffering”.

“The state government has set up a committee to investigate the incident. I assure the people of the country that nothing will be missed in the relief and rescue efforts,” Modi said.

People gather as rescuers search for survivors after a suspension bridge collapsed in Morbi in the western state of Gujarat, India, October 31, 2022.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said he was heading for Morbi and the state government would provide the equivalent of around $5,000 in compensation per family of the deceased and around $600 each for the injured.

“I express my condolences to the families of the citizens who lost their lives in the tragedy,” he tweeted.

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