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HomeCivil Products & ServicesBridges143-year-old cable bridge collapses in Gujarat's Morbi

143-year-old cable bridge collapses in Gujarat’s Morbi

130 killed as bridge collapses in Gujarat, days after reopening, follow this space for updates

At least 60 persons died and several others were injured after after a cable bridge collapsed in Gujarat’s Morbi city on Sunday evening. There were about 500 people on the bridge on the Machchu river when it collapsed around 6.15 pm and many are still feared to be trapped in the water. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed for the rescue operations, Atul Karwal, the director general of the disaster management agency assured. Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said that teams of doctors and the fire brigade, and the local police and district officials have reached the spot. Sanghavi said that he will also reach Morbi soon.

About the bridge;

The bridge was first inaugurated on February 20, 1879, by Mumbai governor Richard Temple. It was completed in 1880 at the cost of around Rs 3.5 lakh back then. All the material came from England and it was built to connect Darbargarh to Nazarbagh. Now, this hanging pool connects the seat of Mahaprabhuji and the entire Samakantha area. This suspension bridge is over 140 years old and its length is about 765 feet.

Why the bridge collapsed?

Officials said the recently renovated bridge collapsed as it could not bear the weight of the people standing on it. They added that there was a rush of people on the bridge, which was reopened for the public just four days back following renovation work, when it snapped around 6.30 pm.

The famous suspension bridge near Mani Mandir was closed for renovation for six months. It was renovated at the cost of Rs 2 crore by a private operator. Due to the Diwali vacation and being a Sunday, there was a rush of tourists on the bridge, a major tourist attraction and a British engineering marvel. It was reopened to the public on the Gujarati New Year Day celebrated on October 26.

A fire department official said boats were being used to rescue people from the river. “We are carrying out rescue work using boats. There are around 40-50 people in the river,” the official said.

Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel takes steps

Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel said he was immediately leaving for Morbi, cutting short his programme schedule with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is touring the state ahead of the assembly elections. He said he was saddened by the tragedy.

“Relief and rescue operations by the administration are going on. The administration has been instructed to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. I am in constant contact with the district administration in this regard,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in Gujarat, spoke to CM Patel and officials regarding the mishap. “He (PM Modi) has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops. He has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and extend all possible help to those affected,” the PMO said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel expressed grief and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for families of the victims and Rs 50,000 for those injured, ANI reported. “I am leaving for Morbi and cancelling all my upcoming events today,” he wrote in a tweet. “I will monitor the situation directly and ensure necessary coordination after reaching the site.”

Updates as on 31st October

The death toll accounted for has risen to  141. Some 177 people have been saved and teams are searching for several others who are still missing. Five teams of National Disaster Response Force or NDRF worked through the night to find the missing. The Army, Navy and Air Force also joined the operation later.

Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said this morning that a criminal case has been registered and a five-member high-powered committee is probing the bridge collapse. “A case has been registered under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and intentional act causing death against whoever is found responsible,” he said.

The authorities have promised a full investigation. Questions are being asked about whether safety checks were done before the bridge was reopened.

The authorities have promised a full investigation. Questions are being asked about whether safety checks were done before the bridge was reopened.

Expert opinion;

The reason of the bridge is yet to estimated and the investigation is still in preliminary stage, however experts have shared their viewpoints on this state of infrastructural crisis.

HOW MANY MORE LIVES WILL BE LOST BEFORE BRIDGE MANAGEMENT BECOMES MANDATORY FOR ALL PUBLICLY USED BRIDGES IN INDIA? asks Sachidanand Joshi Head- UBMS Research Group (URG).

’19 Years, 2 Months 3 Days. Same state of Gujarat. School children and innocent users continue to suffer the traumatic experience of the Bridge Collapse once again. Once more Commission is assembled. Will we learn from 100+ lives lost yesterday’, he points out.

‘Today, my thoughts go back in time while decision-making to Develop and Implement IBMS was in progress, I had raised the subject of encompassing all publicly used Bridges under Bridge Management. The complicated hierarchy of Federal and State government domain stopped Hon. Minister Nitin Gadkariji from agreeing to our suggestions. During Implementing IBMS in MoRTH for National Highways, kudos to Hon. Minister did for issuance of a request to all state governments to implement IBMS’, says Sachidanand Joshi.

He further explains that the minister also offered IBMS software free to any state or any government department wanting to implement IBMS. We tried our best to motivate various state government agencies and municipal authorities to implement IBMS but in vain.Post the contract period with Ministry, we proceeded to improve and upgrade IBMS to UBMS and further integrated various innovative technologies with Bridge Management. Today UBMS has moved away from judgment of a Engineer to factual information based on SHM, UAV imagery and incorporates Life cycle cost analysis to ensure Sustainability and Economic growth.

‘We plead Government of India to bring in legislation to make Bridge Management mandatory’, says Sachidanand Joshi.

PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar to review the situation in Morbi. During the meeting, it was decided to observe state mourning for the victims on November 2.

Updates as on 1st November

The Supreme Court Tuesday listed the petition seeking a judicial inquiry into the bridge collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi for hearing on November 14, Monday. The death toll in the incident rose to 135 as on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day tour of election-bound Gujarat, will be visiting Morbi on Tuesday in the wake of the bridge collapse over Machchhu river that killed 134 people.

Helpline Number;  02822-243300 is the helpline number for inquiries about lost people in Morbi incident.

Watch out this space for update on the news…

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