Disaster: More than 140 dead when suspension bridge collapses in India

The death toll when a suspension bridge collapsed over a river in western India has risen to 141.

Disaster: More than 140 dead when suspension bridge collapses in India

The death toll when a suspension bridge collapsed over a river in western India has risen to 141. Two other people are still missing, the local news agency IANS reported, citing the police on Monday.

Around 177 people were saved, the local television station NDTV reported. The rescue work with boats continued.

The accident happened on Sunday evening (local time) in Morbi in the state of Gujarat. Many victims fell into the water. The pedestrian bridge, which spans the Machchhu River, was reopened last week after months of renovation work, it said.

Hundreds of people during the collapse of the suspension bridge

The building dates from the 19th century, i.e. from the time when India was a British colony. According to local media, hundreds of people were on the suspension bridge at the time of the collapse. Many of them performed rituals on the bridge related to the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja, which worships a sun deity.

Pictures and videos on social networks show how many people are running onto the bridge. Other shots show the structure appearing to be falling apart in the middle and people clinging to avoid falling into the water. Some hold on to parts of the bridge, others swim towards the shore.

The cause of the bridge collapse was initially unclear, and appropriate investigations were announced. A local official told NDTV that the local authorities have not yet inspected the bridge after the rehabilitation work and have not given the go-ahead for its reopening. Media reports said that the construction might not have withstood the load of the many people. The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government of the affected state of Gujarat announced compensation for the families of the victims.

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