In the middle of a mystical ritual, a bridge collapses on more than 80 people

A bridge collapses in India like in an Indian movie with a magic script. And yet the scene is real for a provisional report of 75 people dead. But, it is much more, since the local press announces a hundred deaths. And besides, the search would continue to find the missing.

The suspension bridge spanning a river in the state of Gujarat, in western India, suddenly dropped on Sunday October 30, said a local official. Authorities estimate that several hundred people were on the building when the cables holding it down let go.

“We have found 81 bodies and the funeral rites have started,” said Atul Prajapati, a medical officer at the hospital.

Most of the victims drowned in the river. “More than 82 people have been rescued,” said another member of the local government earlier. It is not known whether other missing persons are still being sought.

Local officials quoted by local media estimated that up to 500 people could be on the Morbi bridge when it collapsed, while its occupants engaged in religious rituals. “People were falling on top of each other when the bridge broke. They had gathered there for rituals because of the Diwali festival. There are many women and children among the victims,” said an unidentified witness quoted by local media.

According to local officials quoted by the media, those present on the bridge were engaged in rituals as part of a religious festival. And unfortunately, it was the faithful who were sacrificed on the bridge of the flood.

The bridge, built in the 19th century (when India was still under British rule) had just reopened after seven months of renovations, as the BBC recalls. The 233-meter-long suspension bridge was built in 1880 with materials brought from England, according to local media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Gujarat, where he is from, called for “the urgent mobilization of rescue teams” and the provision of aid for all victims, his cabinet tweeted.

Often, we often deplore accidents on old and poorly maintained infrastructure in India, especially on bridges.

In 2016, the rupture of a footbridge over a busy street in the city of Kolkata (east) caused the death of at least 26 people.

In 2011 at least 32 people died when a bridge collapsed on which were a crowd of festival participants in northeast India, about 30 kilometers from the city of Darjeeling.

Less than a week later about 30 people were killed in the rupture of a footbridge crossing a river in the state of Aruchnal Pradesh (northeast).

In 2006, at least 34 people were killed when a 150-year-old bridge collapsed on a passenger train at a station in the state of Bihar (east).

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In the middle of a mystical ritual, a bridge collapses on more than 80 people

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