9 Arrested In Morbi Bridge Collapse Case

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9 Arrested In Morbi Bridge Collapse Case

| Updated: October 31, 2022 19:24

Less than 24 hours after the Morbi bridge collapse that killed more than 140 people, the Gujarat Police on Monday arrested nine people, including officials of Oreva, the company that renovated the bridge. Also among those arrested are ticket collectors, bridge repair contractors and three security guards whose job was to control the crowds.

The arrested have been identified as Deepak Parekh, Dinesh Dave, Mansukh Topiya, Mahadev Solanki, Prakash Parmar, Devang Parmar, Alpesh Gohil, Dilip Gohil, and Mukhesh Chauhan. None of Oreva’s top bosses have been arrested. “We won’t let the guilty get away, won’t spare anyone,” Morbi police chief Ashok Yadav said.

Soon after signing a 15-year deal with the Morbi civic body, Oreva, a watchmaker, allegedly outsourced the technical aspect of the bridge renovation to a smaller company with an unknown record, Devprakash Solutions.

Oreva was hired to repair the 140-year-old bridge on Machchu River in March. The bridge was reopened to the public seven months later, on October 26, on the Gujarati New Year day. “It was a seriously irresponsible and careless gesture to open the bridge last week,” the police said in the FIR that doesn’t name anyone.

“Those assigned the repair, maintenance and management of the bridge did not do the repair/maintenance work appropriately,” the FIR said. “They did not conduct a proper quality check but were aware of the possibly fatal dangers,” it added.

Tickets were sold for ₹ 12 to ₹ 17 yesterday to nearly 500 people, officials said, which resulted in overcrowding on the “hanging bridge”, causing the old metal cables to give way. A few on the bridge were seen in CCTV footage rocking the bridge, which could take the weight of only about 125 people.

The contract allowed the company to raise the ticket prices every year till 2037. While reopening the bridge last week, Oreva Managing Director Jaysukh Patel had told reporters that the company had completed “100% renovation with Rs 2 crore”. He also said that the renovated bridge would sustain for “eight to 10 years”.

News agency PTI quoted Overa Group spokesperson as stating that the bridge collapsed as “too many people in the mid-section of the bridge were trying to sway it from one way to the other”

Also Read: Bengal Man Who Lost Son In Morbi Crash Speaks Out

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