The death toll in Morbi suspension bridge collapse in Gujarat rose to 130 on Monday with more bodies being fished out from the Machchhu river, a police official said to the media in western state of Gujarat.
The over-a-century-old bridge, which had reopened five days ago after extensive repairs and renovation, was crammed with people when it collapsed around 6.30 pm on Sunday.
“At least 130 deaths have been reported so far,” the official said. Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told reporters at Morbi, around 300 km from the state capital, that the state government has formed a committee to probe the collapse.
Gujarat Government and the Union Government of India immediately rushed several teams of the National Disaster Relief Force and State Disaster Relief force for quick relief and rescue operations. Besides teams from Police and military were also on spot for the rescue operation.
“Many children were enjoying holidays for Diwali and they came here as tourists,” an eyewitness called Sukram told Reuters news agency.
“All of them fell one on top of another. The bridge collapsed due to overloading.”
Reports said several hundred people were on the bridge when it collapsed at around 18:40 India time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also in state, while immediately announced full swung rescue and relief operation.
“I am in Kevadia, but my heart goes out to those who died in the Morbi Bridge collapse tragedy.” PM Modi said.
“I am in Ekta Nagar but my mind is with the victims of Morbi. Rarely in my life, would I have experienced such pain. On one hand, there is a pain-riddled heart and on the other hand, there is the path to duty,” PM added.