India’s deadly bridge collapse

Fri November 4, 2022

More than 50 children are among 135 people killed in Sunday’s bridge collapse in India’s Gujarat state, according to a list of victims published by state authorities on Wednesday.

One of the worst public safety tragedies to rock the nation in recent years occurred when the medieval suspension bridge in the town of Morbi collapsed, plunging dozens of people into the river below.

The cause of the small walkway’s collapse has come under scrutiny, as well as the responsibility of the electrical manufacturing business in charge of maintaining the colonial-era building, which was just made accessible to the public last week after repairs.

What happened?

Gujarat authorities estimate that 200 people were on the bridge across the Machchhu River in the town of Morbi when it fell on October 30 at about 6:30 p.m. local time.

54 children were among the deceased, according to statistics released on Wednesday. The youngest was a 2-year-old child, while the majority were under 10 years old.

A huge group of young males were gathering on the bridge just prior to it collapsing, as seen in a 36-second video clip released by the Morbi District Administration via CNN station News-18.

Before the bridge collapses and throws the people on it into the river, the footage appears to show some of the men shaking it from side to side.

On October 31, Gujarat’s Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi reported that a cable looked to have broken.

People can be seen congregating on the riverside next to the damaged metal walkway in the photos taken after it fell at an acute angle into the water.

What witnesses say

Witnesses and survivors of the fatal tragedy recalled chaotic scenes.

Raju, a witness who only supplied his first name, told Reuters that “people were hanging on the bridge after the accident, but many slipped and plummeted into the river as it collapsed.” “Since I had assisted in the rescue effort, I was unable to sleep the entire night. I took a number of kids with me to the hospital.

Four children were among the seven family members who perished, according to Narendrasinh Jadeja, whose friend. “I cannot convey how angry and helpless I am feeling,” he told Reuters.

What we know about the bridge

Around 1900, the British erected the 230 meter (755 foot) long and 1.25 meter (4 foot) wide Morbi Suspension Bridge.

It has been a well-liked tourist destination in the riverfront town for many years. The town’s cobblestone streets still bear the architectural marks of colonial authority.

According to the managing director of Oreva, a Gujarat-based electrical appliance manufacturer that managed the repair work, the bridge was shut down for six months of restorations in April.

An online video of the occasion from October 26 shows the managing director telling reporters at the reopening ceremony that the building wouldn’t require any major repairs for “eight to 10 years.”

What are authorities doing?

Gujarat’s home minister, Sanghavi, announced on October 31 that a special investigative team made up of five people has been formed to look into the incident.

Numerous members of state and federal disaster relief teams, as well as the Indian military, are still actively engaged in search and recovery efforts.

According to state police, nine persons have been detained and are being looked into for culpable homicide allegations. The suspects are all connected to Oreva.

According to senior police officer Ashok Kumar Yadav, they include two managers, two ticket clerks, two contractors, and three security officers.

What we know about Oreva

Since the tragic incident, Oreva, a business with headquarters in Gujarat’s major city of Ahmedabad, has been under increased public attention.

According to its website, Oreva began as a clockmaker before branching out into electronics. The company is referred to as the “World’s Largest Clock Manufacturing Company” and “one of the Major Brands in India.”

What’s being done for the victims?

On November 1, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the scene of the deadly collapse in Morbi.

He was observed taking stock of the rescue operations in progress while standing at one end of the fallen suspension bridge after an airborne inspection of the region.

“Went to Morbi, where I saw the terrible bridge accident. I visited the grieving relatives and offered my condolences. After visiting a nearby hospital, Modi tweeted, “I went to the scene of the tragedy and the hospital where the injured are healing.

The Indian leader also mentioned that he visited rescue workers and presided over a meeting for assessment.

According to a tweet from Gujarat’s Chief Minister’s Office, Modi “assured them of all possible assistance from the government.”

On Tuesday, divers searched the area for bodies as search and recovery efforts continued.

According to Modi, the National Relief Fund of the Prime Minister will provide compensation to the victims’ families.

Bhupendra Patel, the chief minister of Gujarat, declared that the state government would provide each family of a deceased person the equivalent of $5,000 in compensation and each injured person would receive $600.

The victims’ cremations are anticipated to start on November 1.

International leaders send condolences

In the wake of the catastrophe, world leaders have paid tribute to the victims and their families.

Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, extended condolences to those who lost loved ones in the collapse.

“Today, India is in our thoughts. In a statement released on Monday, Biden stated, “Jill and I extend our sincere sympathies to the families of those who lost loved ones in the bridge collapse and join the people of Gujarat in mourning the loss of too many lives cut short.

“With strong ties between our citizens, the United States and India are essential partners. We shall continue to stand by and support the Indian people throughout this trying time.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also offered condolences to Modi, according to Chinese official television CCTV.

“I would like to send my profound condolences to the relatives of the deceased and the injured on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

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