Morbi bridge collapse: India PM Modi visits site

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the town of Morbi in his home state of Gujarat to see for himself the scene of Sunday's bridge collapse, which left 135 people dead.

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The 140-year-old bridge over the Machchu river gave way days after it reopened following repairs.

Divers are continuing to search for the remains of victims.

Nine people, including employees of a firm contracted to maintain the bridge, have been arrested.

The 230m (754ft) bridge was built in the 1870s during British rule.

Described by the state's tourism website as a "technological marvel", it reopened last week after being shut for months for repairs.

Reports said hundreds of people were on the structure when it collapsed. Some plunged into the waters below and others clung on to the wreckage.

Many victims were swept away by the fast-moving water. Officials said that most of victims were women, children and elderly people.

After Mr Modi visited the scene on Tuesday, his office said he stressed the need "to conduct a detailed and extensive inquiry", adding: "the key learnings from the inquiry must be implemented at the earliest."

On Monday, teams of emergency workers scoured the river in small boats, paddling through its muddy waters and the mangrove shrubs in search of the missing. Hundreds of locals too joined in the efforts, while distressed relatives searched for their loved ones.

By evening, the rescuers had managed to recover 134 bodies. Search operations resumed on Tuesday morning. At least 170 people have been rescued so far.

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  • Nov 2 2022
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