At least 91 people died after a century-old suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Gujarat's Morbi city collapsed on Sunday evening, officials said, reports ndtv.com.
The bridge, which reopened four days ago after extensive repairs and renovation, was crammed with people when it collapsed around 6.30 pm, officials said.
"At least 60 persons have died in the tragedy," Gujarat minister Brijesh Merja said.
Eyewitnesses said there were several women and children on the British era "hanging bridge" when it snapped, plunging them into the water below. Some people were seen jumping on the bridge and pulling its big wires, an eyewitness said. The bridge may have collapsed due to the "huge crowd" on it, he added.
People fell over each other when the bridge collapsed, he said.
Due to the Diwali vacation and being a Sunday, there was a rush of tourists on the bridge, a major tourist attraction.A private operator had carried out the repair work of the bridge for nearly six months before it was reopened to the public on the Gujarati New Year day on October 26.
A fire department official said that boats were being used to rescue people from the river.
"We are carrying out rescue work using boats. There are around 40-50 people in the river," the official said.Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said he was saddened by the tragedy."Relief and rescue operations by the administration are going on. The administration has been instructed to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. I am in constant contact with the district administration in this regard," he said.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in Gujarat, spoke to Patel and officials.
Modi sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops, the PMO said, adding the PM has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and all possible help be extended to those affected.
Prime Minister has also announced announced an 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.
The collapsed bridge File Picture
The National Disaster Response Force on Sunday rushed three teams to Gujarat's Morbi district where more than 60 people were killed after a suspension bridge over a river collapsed, according to media reports.
NDRF Director General (DG) Atul Karwal told PTI that the three teams have been moved from state capital Gandhinagar and Vadodara.
Another team will be airlifted in some time and it will move via road from Rajkot to the accident site, he said.
The teams comprise senior officers and rescuers, and they are carrying the required equipment, Karwal said.
With PTI inputs