India bridge collapse leads to arrest of 9 people as rescuers recount “traumatic” Diwali disaster

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Indian rescue personnel conduct search operations after a bridge throughout the river Machchhu collapsed in Morbi, some 120 miles from Ahmedabad, early on October 31, 2022.

SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty


Morbi, India — 9 individuals have been arrested Monday in reference to the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in western India that killed virtually 140 individuals, police stated. The 9 individuals arrested — all related to an organization that maintained the bridge in Morbi — have been being investigated for culpable murder not amounting to homicide, senior police officer Ashok Kumar Yadav stated in an announcement.

The bridge, which had reopened solely days earlier after months of renovation, collapsed on Sunday night, sending a whole bunch tumbling into the river in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s house state of Gujarat. Authorities stated practically 500 individuals have been celebrating the final day of the Diwali pageant on and across the practically 150-year-old suspension bridge when supporting cables snapped.

CCTV footage confirmed the construction swaying — with a number of individuals apparently intentionally rocking it — earlier than it immediately gave method.

The walkway and one fence crashed into the Machchhu river, leaving the opposite aspect dangling in mid-air as individuals fell into the water in the dead of night.

“I noticed the bridge collapse earlier than my eyes,” stated one witness who labored all evening on rescue efforts, with out giving his identify. “It was traumatic when a girl confirmed me a photograph of her daughter and requested if I had rescued her. I couldn’t inform her that her daughter had died.”

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Our bodies are seen on the ground of the federal government civil hospital after a bridge throughout the river Machchhu collapsed in Morbi, some 120 miles from Ahmedabad, early on October 31, 2022.

SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty


Supran, one other witness, stated the bridge, which was a preferred vacationer attraction, was “jam-packed.”

“The cables snapped and the bridge got here down in a break up second. Individuals fell on one another and into the river,” he advised native media.

After the collapse, individuals clung to the twisted stays of the bridge or tried to swim to security in the dead of night.

Many Indians can’t swim and one other Morbi resident, Ranjanbhai Patel, stated he helped pull out those that had been capable of attain the banks.

“As most people had fallen into the river, we weren’t capable of save them,” he stated.

Native police chief P. Dekavadiya stated that by Monday afternoon 137 individuals have been confirmed lifeless. They included round 50 kids, the youngest being a two-year-old boy. Ashok Yadav, a regional police inspector normal, had earlier stated 141 deaths have been confirmed, however he later revised the toll down. 

One native MP, Kalyanji Kundariya, advised media he had misplaced 12 relations within the accident, together with 5 kids.

Authorities launched a rescue operation instantly following the collapse, with boats and divers looking out the river all evening and all through Monday.

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Rescue personnel conduct search operations after a bridge throughout the river Machchhu collapsed at Morbi in India’s Gujarat state on October 31, 2022.

SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty


The bridge, 764 ft lengthy and about 5 ft vast, was inaugurated in 1880 by British colonial authorities and made with supplies shipped from England, stories stated.

The Gujarat vacationer division describes the “grand suspension bridge” about 120 miles west of the state’s foremost metropolis, Ahmedabad, as an “creative and technological marvel.”

Sandeepsinh Jhala, Morbi municipality’s chief officer, stated the bridge had not been issued a security certificates after the current restore work.

Stories named the agency that carried out the repairs as a unit of the Gujarat-based Oreva group, which describes itself because the world’s largest clock producer, and likewise makes lighting merchandise and e-bikes. The corporate couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Modi, who was as a consequence of go to the positioning on Tuesday, stated that he “could hardly ever have skilled a lot ache in my life”.

Moscow and New Delhi have loved shut relations for many years and the Kremlin stated in an announcement that Russian President Vladimir Putin despatched his condolences.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated he was “deeply saddened” whereas Nepal, Bhutan, Britain and France additionally despatched messages of help.

Accidents from outdated and poorly maintained infrastructure, together with bridges, are frequent in India.

In 2016, the collapse of a flyover onto a busy road in Kolkata killed no less than 26 individuals.

5 years earlier, no less than 32 individuals perished when a packed bridge collapsed within the hill resort of Darjeeling.



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