Gujarat Tragedy: 140 People Dead In Bridge Collapse, Nine Arrested
AHMEDABAD – A day after the Morbi bridge collapse in Gujarat, which shockwaves around the world, police have arrested nine persons, including the managers of the private contractor Oreva Group and ticket clerks and security guards.
While the death toll kept climbing, reports said many as 177 persons were rescued during the search and rescue operation conducted by multiple agencies including the Navy, Army, fire brigade and disaster response forces at the national and state levels. Prior to the arrival of officials, bystanders and other tourists jumped in to save several lives.
The government of Gujarat is under fire regarding handing over the repair, upkeep, maintenance and management of the bridge for 15 years British-era suspension bridge to the Oreva Group, a company that is into wall clock and electronic appliances manufacturing.
It conducted repairs and reopened the bridge to the public on October 26 and had as many as 10,000 people, visit it. It has emerged that after the renovation, no safety audit was conducted. Media reports also say the company was given charge of the bridge after “higher ups” from Gandhinagar nudged local officials to give Oreva the project.
The collapse of a cable bridge on the Machhu river on October 30, has left children orphaned, while some have lost their entire next generation. When the bodies of the victims reached villages and towns, it left behind families and people in tears and pain.
Four-year-old Shivam of Rajkot, had gone to Morbi with his father Bhupat Parmar, mother Sangitaben and brother Viraj. Only Shivam only has returned alive, and other three’s dead bodies were brought back, said his grandfather Chagan Parmar.
Jamnagar’s Jaliya Devani village is in deep shock because seven members of Jadeja family – including four children – died in the horrifying accident. Brothers Pradyumansinh and Pratapsinh Jadeja, their wives, two children each and their mother have died in the bridge collapse.
Prime Minister Modi has been attending political meetings in Gujarat and has expressed his sorrow even while chairing other meetings to give relief and compensation for the victims. Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party while calling for an inquiry said the tragedy should not be politicized even while other parties began the war of words.
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