135 killed as bridge collapses into the river in Gujarat, days after reopening
Ahmedabad, October 31: Yesterday at around 6:30 p.m. when the Morbi bridge collapsed in Gujarat, the nation could not believe it. The deadly incident has left the whole nation in great shock. The Morbi bridge collapse claimed 135 lives, most of them women, children and the elderly. It was one of the worst tragedies in India for years. The collapse of the British-era bridge is raising many questions over the structure of the bridge as well as the negligence of the authority.
The Morbi Suspension Bridge was built around 1900 during British rule. The bridge has been a popular tourist attraction. The bridge was closed for seven months for repair. The unfortunate incident happened just after five days of reopening.
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About 200 people were on the bridge across the Machchhu River in the town of Morbi when it collapsed into the river below. At least 30 children were among the 135 killed, officials said. Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said that a cable appeared to have snapped.
Survivors and witnesses of the deadly incident described scenes of chaos. According to a witness, “People were hanging from the bridge after the accident, but they slipped and fell into the river when it collapsed,” Another witness Vikrak said, “After the accident, the rescue operations were all done by the locals and some fishermen who brought their boats. By the time the administration arrived, a lot of people were dead.”
Gujarat Home Minister Sanghavi said that a five-person special investigation committee had been established to investigate the incident. Local people, hundreds of personnel from state and national disaster relief teams and the Indian military started Search and recovery operations. According to the state police, nine people were arrested for the deadly bridge collapse.
An ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh had been made to the next of kin of each of the victims and that Rs 50,000 would be paid to each of the injured while the PMO also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the victims and Rs. 50000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
World leaders sent their condolences to those who lost loved ones during the Morbi bridge collapse.