Gujarat: At least 60 people killed in Morbi bridge collapse; condolences pour in
PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia for the deceased. Congress president Kharge asks party workers to help in rescue and relief work
At least 60 people have been killed in the suspension bridge collpase accident in Gujarat's Morbi on Sunday, news agency PTI reported.
The century-old suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Morbi city had been renovated and reopened for public less than a week back.
There was a rush of people on the bridge when it snapped around 6.30 pm, officials said.
Earlier, Superintendent of Morbi civil hospital Dr Pradip Dudhrajia had said that at least 32 people died in the accident as the hospital had received that many bodies.
The death toll was later revised to 60 as more bodies were fished out.
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 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.
President Droupadi Murmu, too, condoled the death of people.
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.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge expressed condolence and asked Congress workers to help in the rescue and relief work.
Political leaders from all parties, several chief ministers, social workers and others expressed grief over the incident and prayed for the wounded.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam hit out at the BJP over the bridge collapse, claiming that it points to the "gross negligence" of the state government.
"Cable bridge collapse in Gujarat points to the gross negligence of the BJP government. Its repair was said to be done five days back. Where from the contractors got this courage? The compensation needs to be increased. A reliable enquiry should take place to unveil political involvement," Viswam tweeted.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)