The death toll has risen to at least 141 in the collapse of a 150-year-old suspension bridge built on the Macchu river in the Morbi district of Gujarat, India. Many people were injured in the collapse of this bridge built during the British period.
Apart from this, about 177 people have been rescued so far and the search for some others is going on, officials said. Indian media NDTV reported this information in a report on Monday (October 31).
According to the media, the historical suspension bridge, which is about 150 years old, collapsed on Machu river in Morbi district of Gujarat on Sunday. After repairs, the bridge was reopened four days ago. More than five hundred people were on the bridge when it collapsed.
According to NDTV, the suspension bridge, located about 300 km from Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat state, collapsed around 7:30 pm on Sunday. At the time of the incident, about 500 people had gathered on the bridge to observe some rituals of Chhat Puja.
Immediately after the accident, the death toll was initially reported as 40. Later in the night it was revised and published as 91. Officials said that the death toll rose to 141 on Monday morning.
According to the Indian media, the historic bridge collapse happened at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Gujarat on a three-day visit. He also ordered emergency rescue operation in the case of the collapse of the bridge on Sunday. In addition, some media reported that he may go to the accident site on Monday.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Relief Fund has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of those killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 to each of the injured. Apart from this, the state government has also announced Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the families of the injured.
This hanging bridge of Morbi, built about 150 years ago, is also in the list of historical structures of India. The bridge was reopened four days ago (October 26) after repairs to mark Gujarat’s local New Year.
Morbi Municipality officials said the bridge was reopened without a proper fitness certificate. A local private trust has repaired and renovated the bridge. But the trust opened the bridge without submitting the fitness certificate to the state government.
Soon after the accident, five teams of India’s National Disaster Response Force or NDRF reached the spot and started a quick rescue operation. Later, the operation was strengthened by joining the army, navy and air force in the rescue operation.
Officials said around 19 people were hospitalized with serious injuries after the accident. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s office said, ‘A separate ward has also been set up at the Civil Hospital for the treatment of those injured in the bridge collapse.’
Witnesses say several women and children were on the nearly 150-year-old bridge when it collapsed. After the cable of the bridge snapped, many people fell into the river below. And that’s how this casualty happened.