Gujarat: Death toll in Morbi bridge collapse touches 130
Morbi: The death toll due to the collapse of a British-era built hanging bridge, which was renovated and reopened recently, over Machhu river in Gujarat's Morbi district on Sunday has touched 130, media reports said.
Over 150 people have been reportedly rescued so far.
According to reports, the mishap occurred at around 6.42 pm when nearly 500 people had assembled on the bridge to perform Chhath Puja rituals.
Apart from National Disaster Response Force personnel, the army, navy and air force were also pressed into service to carry out the rescue operation.
The mishap occurred at a time when PM Narendra Modi was visiting Gujarat.
The state will also vote to elect a new Assembly in the upcoming months.
Gujarat is currently ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.
The bridge remained shut for seven months due to renovation and was reopened on Oct 26 for the Gujarat New Year.
The renovator of the century-old bridge that collapsed in Gujarat's Morbi city had not taken a fitness certificate from the authorities before reopening it, local municipal body's chief Sandipsinh Zala told NDTV.
મુખ્યમંત્રી શ્રી ભૂપેન્દ્ર પટેલે મોરબી ખાતે હોસ્પિટલમાં સારવાર લઈ રહેલા ઈજાગ્રસ્તોની રૂબરૂ મુલાકાત લઈને તેમની સ્થિતિ તેમજ તેમને મળી રહેલ સારવારની વિગતો જાણી હતી. pic.twitter.com/vnhupeMvq0— CMO Gujarat (@CMOGuj) October 30, 2022
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel visited the accident site and the hospital where many of the victims are undergoing treatment.
મોરબી જિલ્લા કલેક્ટર કચેરી ખાતે રાજ્યમંત્રીશ્રીઓ, સાંસદશ્રીઓ, ધારાસભ્યશ્રીઓ, વહીવટી તંત્ર, પોલીસ તંત્ર, આરોગ્ય સેવા તંત્રના અધિકારીઓ સાથે સમીક્ષા બેઠક યોજીને દુર્ઘટનાની સ્થિતિની સર્વાંગી સમીક્ષા કરી જરૂરી માર્ગદર્શન આપ્યું. વિપદાની આ વેળાએ રાજ્ય સરકાર અસરગ્રસ્ત લોકોની પડખે છે. pic.twitter.com/eVz7yivJ1t— Bhupendra Patel (@Bhupendrapbjp) October 30, 2022
A state minister said the government has taken responsibility for the incident.
"Renovation happened last week. We are also shocked. We are looking into the matter... The government takes responsibility for this tragedy," Brijesh Merja, Gujarat's minister for Labour and Employment, told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi was quoted as saying by NDTV that a case has been registered under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and intentional act causing death - against whoever is found responsible.
"A five-member high-powered committee has been set up to probe the bridge collapse," Sanghavi said.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel have announced ex-gratia for the family of deceased people.
"PM @narendramodi spoke to Gujarat CM @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials regarding the mishap in Morbi. He 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," PMO India tweeted.
PM @narendramodi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 30, 2022
"PM @narendramodi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," read another tweet.
Several political leaders, including President Droupadi Murmu, have condoled the deaths in the tragedy.