At least 60 people die when a bridge falls in western India | International
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A suspension bridge in western India has collapsed as at least 150 people passed through the infrastructure reopened to the public just days ago. According to local authorities, there are at least 60 dead and 30 seriously injured, while rescue operations continue, so the figure may still vary. The suspension bridge of Morbi, in the western state of Gujarat, collapsed this Sunday afternoon, dropping several dozen people into the Machhu River who were unable to leave the structure when it began to give way.
Authorities have mobilized troops, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), for rescue operations, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel reported on Twitter. “I am heading to Morbi, I have canceled all my upcoming events today. Direct monitoring of the situation and the necessary coordination with the system will be achieved by arriving at the site in person”, he added.
According to local television Zee News, there were hundreds of people on the infrastructure at the time of the collapse. In the videos published by the channel, dozens of people are seen clinging to the railings of the bridge while the rescue teams try to get them out of the area.
A bridge built in the 19th century
The historic bridge, 230 meters long, was built during the British occupation of India in the 19th century. It was closed for renovation work for six months, until it was reopened to the public last week.
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According to the regional Minister of the Interior, Harsh Sanghavi, the authorities have managed to rescue a good part of the people who were in the place. “We are receiving all kinds of help from the Center. The NDRF and other agencies were instructed to arrive at the scene. Most of the people injured in the collapse have been admitted to hospital,” the official said.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who was in the State when the accident occurred participating in a government act, has guaranteed the full support of the Government in the rescue operation. “I am deeply saddened by the Morbi tragedy. I spoke to the Gujarat chief minister and other officials about this. Relief and rescue operations are in full swing and all necessary assistance is being provided to those affected,” he said in a message posted on social media.
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