The renovators of the century-old bridge that collapsed in Morbi city, Gujarat state, were not given a health certificate from the authorities before reopening, the head of the local municipal agency told NDTV.
More than 90 people were killed after the bridge broke. Officials said 80 people were hospitalized with serious injuries and about 200 were missing.
A private trust called Oreva refurbished the bridge after winning a government tender. The bridge has been closed for seven months for renovations. It reopened on October 26.
Sandipsinh Zala, head of the Morbi municipal agency, told NDTV that Oreva had not obtained a health certificate from the authorities before opening the bridge.
“It was a government tender. The Oreva Group was supposed to provide the fitout details and conduct quality checks before the bridge opened. But it didn’t. The government didn’t know anything about it,” Mr Zara said.
Yesterday, in a video, a lot of people were seen jumping and running on the bridge. As they moved, the cable bridge was seen shaking.
The rescue operation will continue overnight, officials said. Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Air Force personnel are at the scene looking for survivors among the rubble.
Visually, someone was seen swimming to safety after the bridge broke. Many were seen clinging to the ends of the broken bridge. Some of the half-submerged people cried out for help, while people on the banks of the Mahhu River searched for ways to help them.