Morbi bridge collapse: Nine detained for ‘negligence’; death toll rises to 134

On Monday, the local police arrested at least nine people and launched a criminal investigation into the suspension bridge collapse which took place in the Indian state of Gujarat town, Morbi. The death toll from the incident that took place late Sunday rose to 134 people making it one of the deadliest accidents in the country over the last decade or so.  

The bridge was constructed over a century ago in 1877 and had re-opened after extensive repairs and renovations. Reports indicate that at least nine unnamed people who were responsible for the renovation, maintenance and management of the bridge have been detained. This comes after a private operator had carried out the work and the bridge was opened without any fitness certificate, said the local officials.  

In a press conference, Ashok Yadav, Inspector-general of Rajkot range, said, “Among the nine people arrested two are managers of Oreva company, two ticket clerks along with two contractors and three security guards for negligence.” He added, “Yesterday, a tragic incident took place, we registered an FIR against negligence under sections 304, 308 and 104,” while the police and administration had “responded swiftly.”   

So far, 134 people have been killed and more than 100 people have been injured. The camera CCTV footage of the moments before the bridge collapsed shows a group of young men taking photos and rocking the bridge from side to side after which the cables holding the bridge snapped and the people tumbled into the river. The bridge was about 10 meters above the Machchhu River in the center of Morbi town. 

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