At least 30 people, most of them children, were feared dead when a suspension footbridge collapsed at Seppa town in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh around 5:30pm on Saturday.
The town is 384 km west of state capital Itanagar. The bridge, 70 metres long and 40 feet above the river Kameng, connects Seppa with the New Seppa township.
East Kameng superintendent of police Kime Aya said 60-70 young boys and girls had gathered on the bridge to collect a type of insect considered a delicacy. This insect usually hovers over water bodies around this time of the year.
"Till now (8:30pm) we have recovered one body and rescued 27 boys and girls who are being treated (in a local health centre). Local people are assisting the police and CRPF personnel in rescuing others," he said, adding at least 30 people could have been drowned or swept away by the fast-flowing river.
Locals, however, claimed at least five bodies were recovered downstream of the spot where the bridge collapsed.
"All of them were very young boys," said K Tungri, a tourism information officer who lives near the accident site.
"The footbridge was quite old," an officer said.
"We shall be instituting a probe into how it collapsed."
This is the second such incident in the Eastern Himalayas since October 23, when a wooden bridge collapsed near Darjeeling, killing 34 of some 100 people who had gathered on it for a political rally.