The 150-year-old cable bridge over the Machu River, which was recently renovated and reopened to the public on October 26, caved in on Sunday evening when over 500 people were standing on it. The length of the cable bridge was 233 metres and its width was 4.6 feet.
Morbi (Gujarat): The death-roll in the bridge collapse at Morbi district of Gujarat on Sunday mounted to 141 on Monday, sources said. The 150-year-old cable bridge over the Machu River, which was recently renovated and reopened to the public on October 26, caved in on Sunday evening when over 500 people were standing on it. The length of the cable bridge was 233 metres and its width was 4.6 feet.
Rajkot range inspector general of police Ashok Yadav confirmed the toll.
Nevertheless, according to the Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi, has put the at 132 with two persons still missing. He also said that when the two missing persons are located, the search and rescue operations will be over.
The Morbi government hospital released a list of 99 people who lost their lives in the tragedy. The list does not mention the age of the deceased.
The district administration lodged a criminal complaint against the cable bridge contractor and the manager of the company which renovated the bridge. The police have begun a probe into the incident. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who has cancelled all programmes, rushed to Morbi to monitor rescue and relief operations. He also announced Rs 4 lakh as ex gratia to each of the next of kin of those who died in the tragedy. Similarly, a financial aid of Rs 50,000 will be given to each of those who sustained injuries in the bridge collapse.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was on a three-day visit to Gujarat also cancelled all his programmes. The Prime Minister’s Office also announced compensation for the families of the victims.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has deployed a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at Morbi to help the administration in rescue and relief operations. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has instructed an army team to help the administration.
Bridge reopened without fitness certificate
Chief executive officer of Morbi Municipal Committee SV Zala said that the bridge had been opened for the public after renovation without a fitness certificate from the civic body. He told reporters that the bridge had been closed for the public for a long time, and a private company was given the contract for renovating and maintaining it seven months ago. The company reopened for the public on the Gujarati New Year’s Day (October 26), but the civic body did not issue any fitness certificate, he said, adding that the company did it on their own.