Desk Report

A pedestrian bridge in the town of Morbi in Gujrat state of India that collapsed on Sunday (October 30) caused the death of at least 135 people. The bridge was built in 1877 under British colonial rule and reopened only last week after months of renovation.

It has been reported in Reuters which Indian government confirmed that 152 injured people have been discharged from the hospital and 17 were still being given medical care. The army, navy, and national disaster response teams have still been active in rescuing and operations.

Nine people including ticket sellers and contractors were arrested on Monday. The opposition parties attacked Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party “for what they called an unseemingly fresh paint job for the hospital ahead of the prime minister’s visit.”

Local authorities informed that Oreva group was given the contract to maintain the bridge for 15 years. The authorities were not even notified about reopening the bridge and had not issued a fitness certificate to do so.

The suspension foot bridge full of sightseers many celebrating the Diwali and Chhath Puja festivals gave way “sending people plunging about 10 metres (33 feet) into the water”. It has been observed in CCTV footage that before the bridge collapsed a group of young men taking photos while others tried to move back and forth the bridge “from side to side, before they tumbled into the river below as the cables gave way”. Authorities assumed that around “200 people were on the colonial-era bridge – 233 metres in length 1.25 metres wide on Machchhu river- when it collapsed.”

On Tuesday (November 1, 2022) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Morbi and witnessed the bridge mishap. He said in an official statement, “the need of the hour is to conduct a detailed and extensive inquiry which will identify all aspects relating to this mishap.” He also added, “the key learnings from the inquiry must be implemented at the earliest.” The government have offered 600,000 rupees ($7,000) for the kin of those who lost their lives. Source: Reuters


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