Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Death toll from India bridge collapse rises to 132, search on for missing

Death toll from India bridge collapse rises to 132, search on for missing

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - The death toll from a bridge collapse in Gujarat in India rose to 132, a local government official told Reuters on Monday.

A footbridge over the Machhu River in the town of Morbi was packed with sightseers enjoying holiday festivities when it collapsed on Sunday, plunging people into the river below.

"The death toll in the bridge collapse incident has gone up to 120. The search and rescue operations are continuing," said the senior official, NK Muchhar, adding that the toll could rise further.

Armed forces personnel along with national disaster management and emergency teams from nearby districts were deployed to trace missing people and help with rescue operations, Muchhar said.

Authorities said more than 400 people were on and around the colonial-era suspension bridge at the time of the collapse. The bridge had drawn many sightseers celebrating the Diwali, or festival of lights, and Chhath Puja holidays.

A five-member team was appointed to conduct an investigation into the disaster.

The 230-metre bridge was built during British rule in the 19th century. It had been closed for renovation for six months and was reopened for the public recently.