Gujarat's Morbi bridge tragedy: 9 arrested, PM Modi holds review meeting
Morbi/IBNS: Nine people have been arrested a day after more than 130 people died in a bridge collapse in Gujarat's Morbi
Among those arrested are managers of Oreva, the company that renovated the bridge, ticket collectors, bridge repair contractors and three security guards whose job was to control the crowds, media report.
Gujarat-based Oreva has been accused of violating multiple safety rules, which is believed to have led to the huge tragedy just four days after the bridge reopened to the public. However, none of its top bosses has been arrested so far.
"We won't let the guilty get away, we won't spare anyone," Morbi police chief Ashok Yadav said Monday.
In March this year, Oreva was hired for repair work on the bridge, which was reopened to the public seven months later, on Oct 26, when the Gujarati New Year was celebrated.
The company was bound by its contract to keep the bridge shut for at least eight to 12 months for maintenance and repairs. It was a "seriously irresponsible and careless gesture" to open the bridge last week, the police said in an FIR that doesn't name anyone.
Those assigned the repair, maintenance and management of the bridge "did not do the repair/maintenance work" appropriately, the FIR said.
They "did not conduct a proper quality check" but were aware of the possibly fatal dangers, it added.
Tickets were sold for Rs. 12 to Rs. 17 on Sunday to nearly 500 people, according to officials, which resulted in overcrowding on the "hanging bridge", leading the old metal cables to give way.
A few on the bridge were seen in CCTV footage rocking the bridge, which could take the weight of only about 125 people.
The contract allowed the company to raise ticket prices every year till 2037.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a high-level meeting to review the relief and rescue operations in the bridge collapse.
PM Modi is currently visiting Gujarat and will visit the site of the mishap on Tuesday.
"My heart goes out to Morbi bridge collapse victims", he said addressing people on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas in Kevadia.