In a chilling development, there are reports of more than 150 people being killed after a suspension bridge collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi city on the Machchu river. Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was deeply ‘saddened’ by the development.
Modi tweeted in Gujarati, “I am deeply saddened by the tragedy at Morbi. Spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Shri @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials about this. Relief and rescue operations are going on in full swing and all necessary assistance is being provided to the affected.”
Shockingly, the bridge had recently undergone a thorough renovation work and reopened for public use only four days ago. The bridge caved in at around 6.30 PM IST after being crowded by members of the public.
Morbi Bridge in Gujarat that was inaugurated just 5 days ago collapsed and hundreds of people are missing. The work was rushed and inaugurated on Gujarati new year with an eye on the elections. Human lives don't matter to BJP, only politics does. Pray that the people are safe. pic.twitter.com/VTMy6SCkKV
— Congress Kerala (@INCKerala) October 30, 2022
According to news agency PTI, there was a rush of people on the bridge when the tragic event took place, killing at least 60 people. Aas many as 500 people had reportedly gathered on the bridge to perform the famous Chhath puja.
The death toll is likely to go up as nearly 100 people were believed to be still trapped in the water.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tweeted, “I express my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy of Morbi. The state government will provide Rs 4 lakh to the family of each deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.” An additional compensation of Rs. 2 lakh has been announced from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of the victims.
The Morbi bridge is believed to be more than 150 years old and was closed for several months for renovation work. It reopened on 26 October, on the day of Gujarat day.
Gujarat is scheduled to go for assembly polls and today’s tragedy is set to become a huge election issue in days to come.