November 27, 2022

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India Morbi bridge collapse: The collapsed India bridge, which killed 134 people, has recently been repaired, an official says

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New Delhi Eureka News Now —

The death toll has risen to 134 after a suspension bridge collapsed in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday, when authorities revealed the structure had only recently reopened following repairs.

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

Thirty children were among the victims, county officials told Eureka News Now on Monday.

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

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

Photos from Monday’s scene showed people gathered on the banks of the Machchhu River next to the tattered metal walkway, which hung at a sharp angle into the water, where rescue workers in inflatable boats were searching for survivors.

A five-person Special Investigative Committee was set up to investigate the incident, Sanghavi said, amid an ongoing search and rescue operation by hundreds of employees from state and national disaster relief teams and the Indian military.

At a news conference early Monday morning, Sanghavi didn’t say how many people are missing, but a social media video showed dozens in the water after the bridge collapsed.

Television footage showed people holding the bridge’s cables and remains as emergency teams tried to reach them, Reuters reported. Some climbed the ruined structure to reach the riverbank while others swam to safety.

Later Monday, senior police officer Ashok Yadav said seven of the injured were still hospitalized, while 56 people had been discharged after treatment.

India Morbi bridge collapse: The collapsed India bridge, which killed 134 people, has recently been repaired, an official says

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

On Monday, at a campaign rally ahead of the state elections in Gujarat, Modi said his “heart is full of love and with the families of those who are suffering.”

“The state government has set up a committee to investigate the incident. I assure the country’s people that there will be no shortage of 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 Prime Minister Bhupendra Patel said the state government would provide compensation equivalent to about US$5,000 per family of the deceased and about US$600 each for those injured.

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

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