Indian police arrests nine over bridge collapse that killed hundreds

On 30th October 2022, a pedestrian suspension bridge over the Macchu river in the city of Morbi, Gujarati, India collapsed leading to the death of at least 141 people.

The 19th-century bridge had reopened four days earlier, in time for Diwali and the Gujarati New Year, following the lengthy closure of repairs.

The bridge is owned by Morbi municipality, which signed a contract with the private trust Oreva for maintenance and operations a few months earlier. The toll bridge reopened on 26 October 2022, after being closed for six months.

Four days after reopening, the bridge collapsed at 6:40 pm. Security footage of the bridge showed the structure shaking violently and people holding onto cables and fences on either side of the bridge before the walkway collapsed.

Later images showed the walkway had divided at the midpoint, with some pieces still hanging from snubbed cables, during rescue operations. 

A survivor claimed there were too many people on the bridge and they could barely move, and that some victims were crushed by pieces of the bridge.

At Least 141 people were confirmed dead, and more than 180 were rescued, with many still missing. A large number of victims were teens, women, and the elderly. The victims include 47 children.

Gujarati is the home state of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has announced compensation for the families of victims. He said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy” and its cause would be investigated.

Leader of the opposition Congress Party Mallikarjun Kharge demanded a judicial inquiry to find out how the bridge collapsed within just “five-six days” of being reopened, and who allowed so many people on it.

A five-member committee was formed by the government of Gujarati to investigate and determine the cause. Eight people have been investigated over the incident. Nine people have so far been arrested for their connection to the incident.

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