Morbi bridge was reopened sans approval: Civic body tells Gujarat HC

Morbi: At least 60 people were killed after a nearly century-old suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Gujarat’s Morbi city collapsed on Sunday evening, officials said.

There was a rush of people on the bridge, which was reopened for the public just four days back following the renovation work, when it snapped around 6.30 pm, they said.
“At least 32 people have died in Morbi suspension bridge collapse as our hospital has so far received that many bodies,” Superintendent of Morbi civil hospital Dr Pradip Dudhrajia said.

Eyewitnesses said that there were several women, children and others on the hanging bridge when it snapped, plunging them into the water below.

Due to the Diwali vacation and being a Sunday, there was a rush of tourists on the bridge, a major tourist attraction.

A private operator had carried out the repair work of the bridge for nearly six months before it was reopened to the public on the Gujarati New Year day celebrated on October 26.

A fire department official said that boats were being used to rescue people from the river. “We are carrying out rescue work using boats. There are around 40-50 people in the river,” the official said.

In a tweet, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said he was saddened by the tragedy.

“Relief and rescue operations by the administration are going on. The administration has been instructed to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. I am in constant contact with the district administration in this regard,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in Gujarat, spoke to CM Patel and officials regarding the mishap.”

He (PM Modi) has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops. He has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and extend all possible help to those affected,” the PMO said. 

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