Gujarat: Over 60 dead as 100-year-old suspension bridge collapses in Morbi; rescue operation continues
The bridge in Gujarat's Morbi city, which was nearly a century old and had only recently reopened after renovation, collapsed as it could not bear the weight of the people standing on it.
A suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Gujarat's Morbi city collapsed on Sunday evening, leaving over 60 people dead. The bridge, which was nearly a century old and had only recently reopened after renovation, collapsed as it could not bear the weight of the people standing on it.
"Due to the bridge collapse, several people fell into the river. A rescue operation is underway. More than 60 people have died," Gujarat Panchayat Minister Brijesh Merja, who is present at the incident spot, said.
The National Disaster Response Force rushed three teams from state capital Gandhinagar and Vadodara to Morbi district. NDRF Director General Atul Karwal confirmed that another team will be airlifted and move via road from Rajkot to the accident site. The teams comprise of senior officers and rescuers, and they are carrying the required equipment, Karwal added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of each who died in the Morbi bridge collapse.
Modi also spoke with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and other officials regarding the incident. According to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), he sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue operations.
"PM Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," the PMO said in a series of tweets.
"PM @narendramodi spoke to Gujarat CM @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials regarding the mishap in Morbi. He has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops," it said.
It added that the prime minister has asked that the situation be monitored closely and all possible help be extended to those affected. The bridge, which was recently reopened for the public after renovation, collapsed as it could not bear the weight of the people standing on it, the officials said.
Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu said her thoughts and prayers are with the affected people in the bridge collapse tragedy and hoped that relief and rescue efforts will bring succour to the victims.
"The tragedy in Morbi, Gujarat has left me worried. My thoughts and prayers are with the affected people. Relief and rescue efforts will bring succour to the victims," the president tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)