At least 141 people were killed last night after a British-era bridge collapsed as Gujarat’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the city of Morby tomorrow.
About 500 people, including women and children, were on the suspension bridge when the cable supporting it broke, causing people to fall into the river below. Many people perform the Chhath puja ceremony on the 150-year-old bridge in Morbi.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister said the centre was giving the state everything it needed to be.
“I am in Ekta Nagar, but my heart goes out to the victims of Morbi. Rarely in my life have I experienced such pain. On the one hand, there is a heart full of pain, and on the other, there is duty the road,” he said as he addressed the crowd at the Statue of Unity in Kewadia, Gujarat, where he sent flowers to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birthday.
The bridge over the Machchhu River in Morbi has been closed for seven months for repairs. It reopened to the public on October 26, the Gujarati New Year, without a fitness certificate from the municipality.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said this morning that a criminal case had been registered and a five-member high committee was investigating the bridge’s collapse. “A case has been registered for convicted homicide not amounting to murder and intentionally causing death of a person found responsible,” he said.
The state government has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of each person killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 to the injured. The Prime Minister also announced financial assistance of 200,000 rupees each to the families of the victims.