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Morbi bridge tragedy: Gujarat CM holds review meeting, inspects incident site

Morbi: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Monday held a review meeting as well as took stock of the ongoing rescue operation after the suspension bridge over Machchhu river collapsed on Sunday.

According to the latest estimates, at least 132 people, including women and children, were killed and over 100 are receiving treatment for their injuries sustained after a cable suspension bridge in Morbi town collapsed on Sunday, plunging people, into the Machchhu River. Later he reached the Macchu River operation site to oversee the rescue operations being conducted by the NDRF. He was accompanied by state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi.

The CM gathered necessary details from the Head of the rescue team, informed the Chief Minister's Office today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Morbi in Gujarat on Tuesday, the state chief minister's office announced today.

Prime Minister Modi, who is in Kevadia said that rescue operations were underway and there would be no laxity in rescue and relief efforts. "The Gujarat Government has been carrying out relief and rescue operations since yesterday. Centre too is extending all help to the State Government," PM Modi said.
The suspension bridge above the Machchhu River in the Morbi district had collapsed last evening. Visuals showed people falling into the river below.

The Gujarat Police has filed a First Information Report under IPC sections 304 and 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the bridge collapse tragedy.
Gujarat government has constituted a five-member committee headed to probe the bridge collapse incident.

"An FIR has been registered against the maintenance and management agencies of the bridge, under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 114 (abettor present when offense is committed) of the India Penal Code," said Morbi B Division Police Inspector, Prakashbhai Dekavadiya.

Briefing mediapersons here, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said, "The death toll in the Morbi hanging bridge collapse incident has gone up to 132. The Chief Minister has constituted a high power committee yesterday itself while leaving Ahmedabad. All officers, posted at different locations, were asked to report at Morbi by 2 am. The investigation is going on."

The Gujarat Home Minister further informed that a criminal case has been registered in connection with the incident.

"An investigation has begun today under the leadership of Range IGP," Sanghavi said. Everyone worked all through the night. The Navy, NDRF (National Disaster Relief Force), Air Force and Army arrived at the spot quickly. More than 200 persons have worked the entire night for search and rescue operations," Sanghavi said.

Teams including Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF and Fire Brigade conducted a search operation throughout the night to find the victims who fell into the Macchu river after the bridge collapsed, as per officials. Indian Army teams deployed in Morbi, Gujarat carried out search and rescue operations for survivors of the mishap. All three defence services have deployed their teams for search operations. Three Indian Coast Guard teams consisting of divers, equipment, boats and other material have been deployed on-site at Morbi since last night, said Defence Ministry officials.

After the incident, Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel, Minister of State for Home Affairs Harshbhai Sanghvi, Minister Brijeshbhai Merja, and Minister of State Shri Arvindbhai Raiyani reached the incident spot at midnight and personally observed the rescue operation and gave directions.

According to the details from the district administration, after the mishap, the system was immediately activated and rescue operations started with the help of locals.

Besides this, teams from other places also started arriving at the spot. Around 40 doctors from various health centres, Rajkot PDU Hospital and Surendranagar Civil Hospital started emergency treatment of the injured at the Morbi Civil Hospital.

After the collapse of the bridge, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation boat and rescue materials including life jackets reached Morbi and started the rescue operation.

Emergency ambulances from Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh Metropolitan Municipality and Morbi Municipality were running throughout the night to bring the injured to the hospital immediately. Several private ambulances were also involved in the rescue operation. Army team from Surendranagar joined with its three ambulances and equipment, informed the officials. (ANI)

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