Suspension bridge collapses in India as hundreds of people cross it: at least 141 dead and dozens missing

Kuoni ambulance at the Amer Fort in Rajasthan, India

Kuoni ambulance at the Amer Fort in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Bahnfrend. CC BY-SA 3.0.

At least 141 people have been killed when a suspension bridge collapsed over a river in the western Indian state of Gujarat. More than 100 remain missing. Gujarat’s Minister of Housing and Rural Development, Brijesh Merja, has said that the priority now is to save those who fell into the water and to provide immediate care to the injured. NDTV television reported that 70 people were rescued and taken to hospital.

The suspension bridge in the town of Morbi, over the Machchhu River, is a historic structure, more than 100 years old, which was restored and reopened to the public just four days ago on the occasion of the Gujarati New Year celebration. It is 1.25 meters wide, 233 meters long and is a popular attraction in the area. In footage dated a day before the incident, the bridge is teetering dangerously with hundreds of citizens on top of it.

Witnesses told the Times of India that on Sunday, at the time of the collapse, about 500 people, including women and children, were crossing it. According to the same sources, dozens were submerged and several could still be trapped under the wreckage of the bridge.

Photos and videos released of the tragedy show the bridge twisted and collapsed over the water, as people cling to it to keep from falling into the river. The images also show people swimming in the dark to try to save themselves.

The accident has elicited messages of condolence from many Indian and international leaders, including President Droupadi Murmu. “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,” he said through a tweet.

-Thailand News (TN)

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