135 people died in cable suspension bridge collapse in India Western Gujarat is one of the worst public safety tragedies to hit the country in recent years.
as such The authorities are investigating the accident, Questions have been raised about how the narrow walkway collapsed and the role of an electric manufacturer tasked with preserving the colonial-era structure, which reopened to the public only last week after repairs.
Here’s what we know.
It is estimated that there were about 200 people on the bridge across the Machu River in Morbi town when it collapsed into the waters below on October 30 at around 6:30 pm local time, according to Gujarat authorities.
Officials said at least 30 children were among the 135 killed. It is unclear how many people are still missing and the authorities have not announced the number of injured.
A 36-second video posted by the Morby County Department of CNN’s News-18 shows a large crowd of young people gathered on the bridge in the moments before it collapsed.
The video shows some of the men rocking the bridge from side to side before the structure recedes, drowning the people standing on it in the river.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi said on October 31 A cable looked like it had been cut.
Pictures taken in the aftermath showed people gathering on the river bank beside a distorted iron corridor suspended at a sharp angle into the water.
Survivors and witnesses of the fatal accident described scenes of chaos.
“People were hanging from the bridge after the accident, but they slipped and fell into the river when it collapsed,” a witness who saw only one name told Reuters. I couldn’t sleep through the night because I helped with the rescue. I brought a lot of kids to the hospital.”
“I can’t express how angry and helpless I feel,” Narendrasinh Jadeja, whose friend has lost seven members of his family, including four children, told Reuters.
The Morby Suspension Bridge was built during British rule around 1900 and is 230 m (755 ft) long and 1.25 m (4 ft) wide.
For decades, it was a popular tourist attraction in the riverside city, whose cobbled streets bear the architectural legacy of colonial rule.
The bridge was closed for six months of renovations in April, according to the managing director of Oreva, the Gujarat-based electrical appliance manufacturer that oversaw the maintenance work.
Video shows people clinging to wreckage after fatal bridge crash
At the reopening ceremony on October 26, managing director Reporters The structure won’t need any major work “eight to 10 years,” according to a video of the event posted on social media.
Gujarat’s home minister, Sanghvi, said on October 31 that a five-person special investigation committee had been set up to investigate the incident.
Search and recovery operations by hundreds of personnel from government, national and Indian Army disaster relief teams are still going on.
State police said on October 31 that nine people had been arrested and were being investigated on charges of premeditated murder. All the suspects are linked to Oriva.
They include two managers, two ticket sales staff, two contractors and three security guards, according to senior police officer Ashok Kumar Yadav.
Since the fatal accident, public oversight has shifted to Oreva, a company based in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat.
Oreva started as a watchmaker before diversifying into electronics, according to its website, which describes the company as “the world’s largest watch manufacturer” and “one of India’s major brands.”
CNN contacted Oreva several times, but did not receive a response.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the site of the deadly avalanche in Morbi on November 1.
After an aerial survey of the area, he was seen evaluating the ongoing rescue effort as he stood at one end of the collapsed suspension bridge.
I went to Morby, which witnessed the horrific bridge accident. He met the families of the victims and offered his condolences. I visited the site of the tragedy and went to the hospital where the injured are recovering,” Modi tweeted after visiting a local hospital.
The Indian leader added that he had met individuals involved in rescue operations and chaired a review meeting.
The Gujarat chief minister’s office wrote on Twitter that Modi had “assured them with all possible assistance from the government”.
Search and rescue operations continued on Tuesday as divers scanned the area for bodies.
Modi said earlier that the families of the victims would receive compensation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said the state government will provide the equivalent of about $5,000 in compensation for each family of the deceased and about $600 for each injured person.
It is expected that the cremation of the victims’ bodies will begin on the first of November.
World leaders paid tribute to the victims and their families in the wake of the tragedy.
US President Joe Biden has sent his condolences to those who lost loved ones during the meltdown.
Today our hearts are with India. Biden said in a statement Monday that Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones during the bridge collapse and join the people of Gujarat in mourning the many dead.
The United States and India are indispensable partners, with deep ties between our citizens. In this difficult hour, we will continue to stand by and support the Indian people.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping also expressed sympathy for Modi, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported.
“On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the victims and express our sincere sympathy to their families and the injured,” Xi said, according to CCTV.
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