Gujarat: Morbi bridge was built during British rule, reopened for public last week
Gujarat Cable Bridge Collapse: News agency Reuters reported that more than 400 people were on the bridge at the time.
Hundreds of people fell into the Machchu river after a suspension bridge in Gujarat's Morbi collapsed on Sunday evening, with 40 dead so far. “At present, rescue operations are on and a number of people have been taken to safety. The death figure so far is around 40 and this number could go higher," said Ashish Bhatia, director general of police.
News agency Reuters, citing the local media, reported that more than 400 people were on the bridge at the time.
Footage broadcast by the channel showed people clinging onto the cables of the collapsed bridge as emergency teams sought to rescue them.
A major tourist attraction, the cable bridge is more than a century old and has undergone renovation and repairs over the years. The latest repair work was completed a few days ago before Diwali and it was recently re-opened for the public.
The 230-metre historic 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 last week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in his home state Gujarat for a three-day visit, said he has directed the state chief minister to mobilise teams urgently for the rescue operation.
"Due to the bridge collapse, several people fell into the river. A rescue operation is underway. There are reports that several people have suffered injuries. They are being rushed to hospitals," local MLA and state minister Brijesh Merja said.
According to eyewitnesses, there were several women and children on the hanging bridge when it snapped.