More than 60 dead, nearly 200 rescued after suspension bridge collapses in India

More than 60 dead, nearly 200 rescued after suspension bridge collapses in India

More than 60 people died and nearly 200 others were rescued after a suspension bridge collapsed in India on Sunday, officials said. Image courtesy of Gujarat Directorate of Information/Twitter

Oct. 30 (UPI) — More than 60 people died and nearly 200 others were rescued after a suspension bridge collapsed in India on Sunday, officials said.

The bridge, which crosses the Machchhu river in the town of Morbi in Gujarat, collapsed around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Indian news agency PTI. The bridge is a major tourist attraction and had reopened just four days ago after a seven-month repair.

“It was opened to the public after the completion of the renovation work. But the local municipality had not yet issued any fitness certificate,” Chief Officer of Morbi Municipality Sandeepsinh Zala told PTI.

The Morbi Collector’s Office said in a statement that at least 170 people have already been rescued and that the National Disaster Response Force had sent three platoons to help in the rescue efforts, as well as 50 personnel from the Indian Navy and 30 personnel from the country’s Air Force among others.

Videos posted to Twitter by the Gujarat Directorate of Information showed rescuers with lifeboats saving people from the water. Residents have been lining up at area hospitals to donate blood.

Bhupendra Patel, the chief minister of Gujarat, said in a statement that the state government would provide around $4,861 to compensate the families of each victim killed in the collapse and around $607 to those injured.

“I express my condolences to the families of the citizens who lost their lives in the tragedy of Morbi,” he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also issued a statement on the disaster and said he had spoken with local officials. He also announced additional compensation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the victims.

“Relief and rescue operations are going on in full swing and all necessary assistance is being provided to the affected,” Modi said.

A statement from his office added that the prime minister has sought urgent mobilization of teams for rescue operations and asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored.

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