Gujarat Police has arrested nine individuals in connection to the bridge collapse in Morbi, which has resulted in the death of at least 134 individuals. The rising death toll makes the tragedy one of the worst incidents of bridge collapse in the country.
In a press meet in the evening, Rajkot Range IG Ashok Kumar Yadav said, “Today is the second day of investigation and action will be taken as soon as we have more information and the name is revealed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit the site tomorrow, November 1, 2022.
The suspension bridge, popularly called the ‘jhoolta pul’, over the Machchhu river was closed seven months ago for repairs and reopened on Gujarati New Year’s Day on October 26. In March this year, Oreva Group was awarded the contract to maintain and manage the bridge by the Morbi municipality.
There are employees of the Oreva Group among the people arrested in connection with the incident.
While the company management was unreachable for comments, a group spokesperson soon after the accident had reportedly stated that the bridge collapsed as “too many people in the mid-section of the bridge were trying to sway it from one way to the other.” The Ahmedabad-based group through its flagship firm Ajanta Manufacturing Pvt Ltd is also present in business segments including lighting products, battery-operated bikes, home appliances, electrical accessories and electronic items such as telephones, calculators and LED TVs among others.
Sandeep Singh, Municipal Chief Officer, said on Monday in an interview with India Today TV that the bridge had been reopened without explicit permission from authorities.
According to Singh, “Historically, only 20 to 25 people used to go in batches on the bridge that has always been there.” However, a video made its rounds on the internet showing a huge gathering on the bridge right before its collapse. Many were seen rattling the cables that suspended the structure.