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More than 130 dead as newly-restored bridge collapses at PM Modi’s home base

Gujarat authorities have launched a criminal investigation into a bridge collapse that killed more than 130 people at the home of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At least 134 people have died after cables to the newly reopened Morbi Bridge snapped on Sunday, Western Province Home Minister Harsh Sangavi said on Monday.

Nearly 180 people were rescued after emergency workers worked hard all night, according to news outlets citing local officials’ reports.

The disaster threatens to overshadow Prime Minister Modi’s three-day visit to Gujarat, where legislative assembly elections are scheduled for this year.

The Prime Minister has canceled one event with local organizers of the local Bharatiya Janata Party. media report. Modi, however, plans to launch several development projects in the state, where he was prime minister from 2001 until 2014.

In a public address Monday marking the birthday of Balabbhai Patel, India’s first home minister and deputy prime minister after winning independence from Britain, Modi said of the Morbi bridge accident, I have never experienced it in my life,” he said.

Modi said the government Award 200,000 rupees ($2,400) to bereaved families of the deceased and 50,000 rupees to injured survivors.

Video footage showed a chaotic scene as rescuers dragged people from the Machu River while others clung to the wreckage of a hanging footbridge. The Gujarat Tourism Board has marketed it as a ‘nostalgic reminder of Victorian London’, a popular attraction.

Total length 233m, colonial period After being repaired by a private company, the bridge reopened less than a week after the tragedy.

Morbi city chief Sandeep Jala said the local council “has not yet issued a health certificate” after the renovation, according to a BBC report.

Indian forces have joined the rescue operation, and the BJP-controlled Gujarat government said a high-level commission would be set up to investigate the disaster.

CCTV footage filmed on the bridge at the moment of the accident showed several men deliberately trying to rock the suspension bridge back and forth, causing the cables holding up the structure to snap, sending dozens into the water below. shown to have fallen.

Hundreds of visitors were descending on the bridge, a popular ticketed tourist destination during India’s Diwali holiday, when it collapsed. Among the victims were women and children.

It is one of the deadliest accidents in the region since the Machu River dam collapse in 1979, which killed hundreds.

https://www.ft.com/content/8abc2fde-2491-4eb4-8aa0-a912d9df9eb9 More than 130 dead as newly-restored bridge collapses at PM Modi’s home base

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