INDIA. Mumbai: In the worst mishap, over 80 people died when around 500 people fell in a river in Gujarat’s Morbi after the British-era suspension bridge constructed over the Machchhu River collapsed on Sunday evening.
Speaking to electronic media, Gujarat DGP Ashish Bhatia confirmed 78 deaths till late Sunday night, while Gujarat CMO in a tweet said that 170 people were rescued by the teams comprising NDRF, Army, Navy, and Fire Brigade. The mishap occurred around 6.30 pm.
The bridge was recently reopened after repair and renovation. Cases under sections 304, 308, and 114 of IPC have been registered on the management team of the bridge Gujarat Home Minister Sanghavi tweeted.
As per initial reports, the bridge is a local picnic spot that was overcrowded on Sunday being a holiday. According to local MLA Lalit Vasoyas, the bridge was recently inaugurated due to the elections. The work was done in extreme haste and proper checks were not made. However, the water level was not too high, and the chances of casualties due to drowning were rare, he added.
Garud Commandos from the Indian Air Force and a team of more than 40 personnel, including marine commandos and seamen from Indian Naval Station at Valsura in Jamnagar joined the rescue operations.
An Indian Army team from an artillery brigade near Dhrangdhra, including doctors and paramedics, reached the spot. However the area had no electricity connection – a factor that made the rescue operations difficult, Defence sources said.
“In all 3 platoons of NDRF 50 personnel of Indian Navy, 30 personnel of IAF along with 2 columns of Army personnel and 7 teams of Fire Brigade left for Morbi with advanced equipment from Rajkot, Jamnagar, Diu & Surendranagar,” Gujarat CMO tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inspected the site of the mishap and later visited the Morbi Civil Hospital where the patients injured in the Morbi cable bridge collapse were admitted. He announced a compensation of Rs. 4 lakh to the family of each deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the injured in the tragic incident.
President Droupadi Murmu expressed concern stating “The tragedy in Morbi, Gujarat has left me worried. My thoughts and prayers are with the affected people. Relief and rescue efforts will bring succour to the victims”.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge urged party workers to join the rescue work while party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala termed the mishap as a “man-made tragedy”.
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