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Morbi Bridge Collapse: Death toll 141, Contractor booked

The tragedy took place on Sunday evening when about 400 people were on the suspension bridge on the Machhu river. Read More

Monday October 31, 2022 10:33 AM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Morbi Bridge Collapse: Death toll 141, Contractor booked

Morbi (Gujarat): The death toll due to the collapse of a suspension bridge in Gujarat's Morbi has increased to 141 as of Monday morning, a top police official confirmed.

The toll was confirmed to the media by Rajkot Range Inspector General of Police Ashok Yadav.

However, the toll according to the Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi is 132, while two persons remain unaccounted for.

He also said that when the two missing persons are located, the search and rescue operations will be over.

As of Monday morning, the Morbi government hospital has released a list of 99 deceased, but has not mentioned the age of the victims.

The tragedy took place on Sunday evening when about 400 people were on the suspension bridge on the Machhu river.

A criminal complaint against the cable bridge contractor and manager has been lodged while the police have started a probe into the incident.

Criminal complaint against contractor

The Morbi Cable bridge on the Machhu river collapsed because of lapses in repair work, maintenance and mismanagement or any other technical reasons, the Gujarat Police have said in the FIR.

In the FIR, the police have not identified any accused, but have lodged a complaint against the hanging bridge repair agency, its management, and any one whose name is disclosed during the course of investigation.

The Morbi B Division Police Inspector P.A. Dekavadiya in the FIR has stated that the bridge collapsed around 6.30 p.m. and by the time a complaint was lodged at 8.15 p.m., 50 persons were killed and 150 persons had suffered minor or major injuries.

The officer has alleged in the FIR that the repair agency, agency management without carrying quality check or feasibility or load bearing test had opened the bridge for the visitors.

"It is an act of negligence because visitors have died. It seems that the act was committed knowingly. The accused have committed the offence under IPC section for culpable homicide, an act that can cause death and abettor," said the police. The case will be investigated by Deputy Superintendent of Police P.A. Zala.

According to the police department sources, police have picked up three persons for questioning in this connection so far.

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.


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