Gujarat: Death Toll Crosses 130 in the Morbi Bridge Accident
A fun filled Sunday evening turned into tragedy after a suspension bridge collapsed in the Machcchu River in Gujarat.
MORBI : A suspension bridge went down yesterday in the Morbi district of the West Indian state of Gujarat. The incident has been reported to have happened at around 6 PM in the evening of Sunday and led to the death of more than 130 people by drowning.
The suspension bridge over the Machchhu river in the Morbi district is a century-old structure. It was closed off for everyone for seven months to undertake necessary repairs. And the people responsible for its maintenance reopened it for the public on the occasion of the Gujarati New Year which was on October 26 this year.
Since it was Sunday, a large number of people went to visit the bridge. According to some reports, there were as many as 500 people aboard the suspension bridge when it broke. People on the sides mentioned the presence of a large number of women and children on the bridge at the time when it broke. Local people commented that the particular section of the river is very deep and has a high current.
Reports mention that the bridge was opened for the public even before taking the necessary permissions and safety checks. Some people who visited the bridge just before its fall said that the ticketing authority was allowing people without even checking the number of people already on the suspension bridge. A few people have been seen kicking and trying to sway the structure in some of the videos that went viral on social media.
The search and rescue operations ran all night and continue till now. Speaking about the unfortunate incident, Harsh Sanghavi, the Home Minister of Gujarat mentioned that 132 dead bodies had been recovered so far from the river. However other reports claim this number to be higher. The river's water has been drained to help rescue efforts.
A high-powered committee has been set up with five members to find all details regarding the accident. A case has been also registered against unknown persons who is responsible for the event under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The Gujarat government has announced a compensation of Rs. 4 lakhs each to the deceased and Rs 50000 for the injured. Narendra Modi announced additional financial assistance of Rs 2 lakhs each.