In a big mishap, a cable bridge collapsed in the Machchhu river of Morbi district, Gujarat on Sunday evening. This incident left several people injured. Over 500 people around over 150 fell in the river when the bridge collapsed. Currently, more than 100 people are untraceable and over 60 people are found dead. The area has no electricity connection – a factor that is making the rescue operations further difficult.
The cable bridge was relaunched five days ago after renovation. Rescue operation is on. The bridge was considered an engineering marvel. It is 1.25 m wide and spans 233 m on the Machchhu River connecting Darbargadh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.
Several people fell in the river after the bridge collapsed. Ambulances have reached the spot to carry the injured to hospitals. The administration, with the help of locals, is rescuing people who fell in the river after the bridge collapse.
Reports said, the government tender for the renovation work was given to Oreva Group, owned by Jaysukhji Odhavji Patel.
The police informed the National Disaster Response Force team to rescue people. Former Jetpur-Morbi MLA Kantilal Amrutiya also jumped in the river to rescue people. On the instructions of Range IG Ashok Yadav, district SP Rahul Tripathi also reached the spot. The police called 108 ambulances and took the injured people to the hospital
MLA and State minister Brijesh Merja said “Due to the bridge collapse, several people fell into the river. A rescue operation is underway. There are reports that several people have suffered injuries. They are being rushed to hospitals,”
A local person alleged that the work of constructing the bridge was done in extreme haste and proper checks were not made. However, he said that the water level is not to high, and the chances of casualties due to drowning are extremely rare.
Gujarat police formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case of Morbi bridge collapse. Range IG Ashok Kumar Yadav informed about the formation of SIT. Details of members are not declared yet.
Gujarat government has formed five-member committee to investigate the case. It includes:
- IAS Rajkumar Beniwal, Municipal Administration Commissioner
2. KM Patel, Chief Engineer Quality Control, R&B Division, Gandhinagar
3. Dr. Gopal Tank, HOD Structural Engineer, LD Engineering College, Ahmedabad
4. Sandeep Vasava, Secretary Road and Building
5. Subhash Trivedi, IG- CID Crime
President Droupadi Murmu Expresses Concern
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.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day visit to Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections, spoke to Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel and sought urgent mobilisation of teams for the rescue operations. Prime Minister’s Office in a tweet wrote, “PM @narendramodi spoke to Gujarat CM and other officials regarding the mishap in Morbi. He has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops. He has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and extend all possible help to those affected.”
The Prime Minister’s Office has announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from the PMNRF for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given ₹50,000.
Taking to Twitter, CM Bhupendra Patel said instructions have been given to officials to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. “I am deeply saddened by the tragedy of the suspension bridge collapse in Morbi. Relief and rescue operations are underway by the system. The system has been instructed to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. I am in constant contact with the district administration in this regard,” the CM tweeted.
According to latest reports, CM Bhupendra Patel, Sports Minister Harsh Sanghavi and Health Minister Rushikesh Patel are on their way to Morbi.
This is a developing story.