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Garud Commandos from Air Force pressed into rescue operations in Gujarat's Morbi
Gandhinagar: Garud Commandos from Air Force were pressed into the rescue operations soon after a cable bridge collapsed in Gujarat's Morbi on Sunday, according to the state information department.
The National Disaster Response Force was called for rescue operations after the unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of over 60 persons. According to the information department, 30 personnel of the Indian Air Force along with two columns of Army personnel have left for the spot.
"After instant orders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, for rescue and relief operations, three platoons of NDRF with 50 personnel of Indian Navy, 108 ambulance and ambulances from nearby areas, Garud Commando from Air Force Jamnagar, 30 personnel of IAF along with two columns of Army personnel and seven teams of Fire Brigade left for Morbi with advanced equipment from Rajkot, Jamnagar, Diu and Surendranagar," the department said.
It further informed that an isolation ward has also been set up in Rajkot Civil Hospital for treatment of the injured ones.
"3 of SDRF as well as two platoons of State Reserve Police (SRP) are also reaching Morbi for rescue and relief operations. An isolation ward has also been set up in Rajkot Civil Hospital for treatment," the department added.
It went on to add that an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh has been announced for the next kin of those who died in the incident, while Rs 50,000 will be given to the injured ones.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Patel has reached the spot to inspect the rescue operations.
Rescue operations are underway.
Earlier, BJP MP from Rajkot, Mohanbhai Kalyanji Kundariya said that the NDRF is conducting the rescue operation.
"More than 60 bodies were recovered, of which more are of children, women & elderly. Rest have been rescued; NDRF rescue op is underway. We're taking this matter very seriously, it's very saddening," he said.
"Machinery present at the spot to pump out the water so that we can figure out the bodies underneath, as there's a lot of silt. I believe the bridge got overloaded and that led to the incident. Many teams engaged in rescue, CM to arrive shortly, " he added.
The eyewitnesses Amit Patel & Sukram present on the spot said that the incident might have taken place because of the huge crowd at the bridge.
"Many people came here in view of the Diwali holidays and weekend; it's a tourist-friendly place. The incident occurred probably because of the huge crowd at the bridge. When it collapsed, people fell over each other," they said.
Soon after the incident, State Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi informed that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been instructed to reach the spot.
"It's a sad and unfortunate incident. Around 6:30 pm, the bridge in Morbi carrying 150 people collapsed. In just 15 mins, fire brigade, collector, district SP, doctors, and ambulance reached the spot... I'll be reaching the spot too. The official death toll in the matter is seven," Sanghavi said while speaking to the reporters here.
The Minister informed that most of the people have been rescued.
"We have been able to rescue most of the people there... we are receiving all kinds of help from the Centre. NDRF and other agencies have been instructed to reach the spot. Most people injured due to the collapse have been admitted to the hospital," he said.
Meanwhile, NDRF DG Atul Karwal said that three teams have already been dispatched to assist in the rescue operations.
"Three NDRF teams have already been dispatched--two from Gandhinagar & one from Baroda--to assist in the rescue operation following an accident in Gujarat's Morbi city in which several people fell into Machchhu river after a suspension bridge collapsed," Karwal said.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said that he is cancelling all his events today and leaving for Morbi where the incident took place.
"I am leaving for Morbi by cancelling all my upcoming events today. Direct monitoring of the situation and necessary coordination will be achieved by reaching the site in person," he tweeted.
Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office said that PM Modi has asked for close monitoring of the situation and delivery of all possible help to the affected persons.
"PM @narendramodi spoke to Gujarat CM @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials regarding the mishap in Morbi. He has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops. He has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and extend all possible help to those affected," the PMO tweeted.
Chief Minister Bhupender Patel said instructions have been given to the officials to arrange immediate treatment for the injured.
"I am deeply saddened by the tragedy of suspension bridge collapse in Morbi. Relief and rescue operations are ongoing by the system. The system has been instructed to arrange immediate treatment for the injured. I am in constant contact with the district administration in this regard," the Chief Minister said. (ANI)