Press Trust of India

Morbi bridge collapse: Toll stands at 135; PM visits site, calls for extensive inquiry

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Morbi (Gujarat): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a “detailed and extensive” inquiry into the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy and said its key learnings must be implemented at the earliest.

As many as 135 bodies have been recovered from the Machchhu river in Gujarat’s Morbi town by the armed forces, National Disaster Response Force and other rescue agencies after the British-era suspension bridge collapsed on Sunday, officials said.

Prime minister Modi visited the collapse site and the local hospital where the injured have been admitted.

He also chaired a high-level meeting at Morbi to review the situation, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release.

“The need of the hour is to conduct a detailed and extensive inquiry which will identify all aspects relating to this mishap,” Modi said.

Key learnings from the inquiry must be implemented at the earliest and authorities must stay in touch with the affected families and ensure that they receive all possible help in this tragic hour, he said.

The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi, local MLA and minister Brijesh Merja, state chief secretary Pankaj Kumar and state Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia, among others.

Before that, the prime minister visited the site of the tragedy and also went to the local hospital where the injured are recovering. He also interacted with those involved in rescue and relief work and lauded their efforts.

State minister Rajendra Trivedi said as many as 170 persons were rescued after the collapse.

“The kin of all the deceased have already been paid a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each as announced by the Gujarat government. A compensation of Rs 2 lakh announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be deposited soon into their bank accounts through DBT (direct bank transfer),” the minister told reporters in state capital Gandhinagar.

He said only 17 people, out of those rescued after the accident, were at present under treatment at various hospitals in Morbi.

A senior police official had said on Monday that no person was missing as of now.

Police have so far arrested nine persons, including four from the Morbi-based Oreva Group that was managing the suspension bridge, and filed a case against firms tasked with maintenance and operation of the structure.

The clock and e-bike maker Oreva group was given a contract by the Morbi Municipality to repair and operate the ill-fated hanging bridge for 15 years, as per documents of the municipality.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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