Gujarat Morbi Bridge Collapse: FIR filed against bridge maintenance agencies
Morbi, Oct 31: At least 132 people, many of them women and children, died after a century-old suspension bridge on Machchhu river in Gujarat's Morbi city collapsed on Sunday evening. The more than a century-old bridge, which had reopened on October 26 after extensive repairs and renovation, collapsed around 6.30 pm.
An FIR has been filed by Morbi B Division Police Inspector Prakashbhai Dekavadiya against maintenance & management agencies of the bridge under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) & 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the India Penal Code.
Earlier, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi informed that 132 deaths have been reported so far in the Morbi cable bridge collapse incident.
"A criminal case has been registered. An investigation has begun today under the leadership of Range IGP," he said in a media briefing, as quoted by ANI. The Minister further mentioned, "Everyone worked all through the night. Navy, NDRF, Air Force and Army reached quickly. More than 200 persons have worked the entire night (for search and rescue operations)."
Following the accident, the PM has cancelled his road show, scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad Monday ahead of the state Assembly polls. He has also announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given Rs 50,000.
Morbi Bridge: A brief history
Sir Waghji Thakor, who ruled Morbi till 1922, was inspired by the colonial influence and decided to construct the bridge, an "artistic and technological marvel" of that period, to connect Darbargadh Palace with Nazarbag Palace (the residences of the then royalty). The bridge was 1.25 metres wide and spanned 233 metres, and was meant to give a unique identity to Morbi using the latest technology available in those days in Europe, as per the collectorate website.