- At least 132 people were killed when a suspension bridge collapsed in Gujarat, India.
- More than 400 people plunged into the Machhu River as authorities continue searching for survivors.
- The bridge was built during British colonial rule in the 19th century.
A suspension bridge in Gujarat in western India collapsed and killed at least 132 people on Sunday, local government officials told Reuters. Local authorities continue to look for survivors as over 400 people had plunged into the river below.
“The death toll in the bridge collapse incident has gone up to 132. The search and rescue operations are continuing,” NK Muchhar, a senior official, told the wire on Monday. He added that the death toll is expected to rise.
A video posted by local news channel News24 showed the exact moment the footbridge collapse into the Macchu River, as hundreds of people were celebrating Diwali, a Hindu festival. The footage showed people smiling and chatting when the cables suddenly snapped, causing them to fall into the river.
—News24 (@news24tvchannel) October 31, 2022
Another video posted on Twitter by News24 showed dozens of people hanging on the collapsed bridge, some of whom attempted to climb the structure. Bystanders can be heard shouting and screaming, as sirens blared in the background.
—News24 (@news24tvchannel) October 30, 2022
Indian Army personnel were deployed to conduct search and rescue operations, as national disaster management and emergency teams continued to look for missing people.
In a Twitter post by the news agency ANI, several photos showed army personnel in boats sifting through marshland. One photo showed dozens of orange boats cruising through the river tracing survivors.
—ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2022
Gujarat state minister Brijesh Merja told local television station NDTV that at least 17 people were sent to a hospital and were undergoing treatment, per CNN’s report. Indian Minister of Parliament Mohanbhai Kalyanji Kundariya told NDTV that children were among the fatalities, as cited by CNN.
A photo taken by Reuters on October 31 showed Indian Army personnel carrying bodies on a stretcher as search and rescue teams in boats continued to look for survivors.
The footbridge was built during British colonial rule in the 19th century. It had been closed for half a year undergoing renovations and was only opened to the public recently, according to Reuters. The state of Gujarat had lodged a criminal complaint against the maintenance agency in charge of the bridge, per The Times of India, citing Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi.
Another photo by Reuters showed dozens on people gathered at the base of the bridge the day after it collapsed.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel said in a Twitter post on October 30 the state government would be giving each family of the deceased around 4 lakh, or $500, in compensation. He added that each injured person would be receiving around $600 in compensation.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a Twitter post on October 30 that he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy at Morbi.”
“Talked to Gujarat Chief Minister Shri @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials about this. Relief and rescue operations are going on in full swing and all necessary assistance is being provided to the affected,” Modi wrote in Gujarati.