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91 killed as hanging bridge collapses in Gujarat's Morbi

The bridge was closed for the last two years and was reopened after renovation just a day ago. Read More

Monday October 31, 2022 0:43 AM, IANS

20 killed, over 100 missing as hanging bridge collapses in Gujarat's Morbi

Morbi (Gujarat): At least 91 people, including children, were killed as the hanging bridge on the Machhu dam in Gujarat's Morbi collapsed on Sunday evening, officials said.

Rescue and medical emergency personnel were were being rushed to the spot.

Morbi's former MLA Kantilal Amrutiya told the local media that he and his team had fished out at least 8 bodies and more than 80 persons are trapped in the Machhu river, after the hanging bridge collapsed.

The bridge was closed for the last two years and was reopened after renovation just a day ago.

As it was Sunday and Diwali vacations are on more than 500 people, including children, had come to see the hanging bridge when the accident occurred, Morbi city Congress chief Rajeshbhai Kavar said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has learned about the incident and has instructed the state machinery to rush all help to Morbi administration and speed up rescue and emergency medical services.

How Morbi Bridge collapsed

Morbi MLA and Minister Brajesh Merja said that due to night and water flow in the river, locals and fire brigade teams are finding difficulty in carrying out rescue operations.

Fire teams from surrounding districts too were rushed to Morbi to speed up the rescue work.

Fitness certificate not issued

Morbi Municipal Committee's Chief Executive Officer S.V. Zala, in a shocking revelation, meanwhile said that the bridge was opened for the public without a fitness certificate.

Zala, addressing the local media, said:

"For a long period, this bridge was closed for the public... seven months ago, a private company was given contract for renovation and maintenance, and the bridge was reopened for the public on October 26 (Gujarati New year day) by the private company. The Nagar Palika has not issued a fitness certificate."

He even claimed that it is possible that the company might have got a fitness certificate from the engineering company, but it was not submitted to the municipality till date.

"The company, on its own and without informing the civic body, reopened the bridge for the public", he alleged.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel also told the media that normally when bridges are constructed or renovated, before opening it for public, technical assessment is must, and load bearing capacity is tested and only after this is a usage certificate issued by the authority concerned and the bridges can only then be opened for the public.

This hanging bridge was constructed by Morbi Dynasty rule Sir Vaghaji Thakor some 150 years ago, and its length is 233 metres and it is 4.6 feet wide.


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