Death toll in India’s Morbi bridge collapse reaches 141, investigative committee formed


The death toll due to the collapse of a suspension bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi has increased to 141 as of Monday morning, a top police official confirmed. The state government has instituted a high-powered committee to investigate the incident.

The toll was confirmed to the media by Rajkot Range Inspector General of Police Ashok Yadav.

However, the toll according to the Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi is 132, while two persons remain unaccounted for.

He also said that when the two missing persons are located, the search and rescue operations will be over.

As of Monday morning, the Morbi government hospital has released a list of 99 deceased, but has not mentioned the age of the victims.

The tragedy took place on Sunday evening when about 400 people were on the suspension bridge on the Machhu river.

A criminal complaint against the cable bridge contractor and manager has been lodged while the police have started a probe into the incident.

Briefing media persons, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said, “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. An army team from Surendranagar joined with its three ambulances and equipment, informed officials.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday expressed his grief over the loss of lives when the pedestrian suspension Morbi bridge collapsed on the Machchu river collapsed and over 130 people were killed.
“Several people lost their lives in yesterday’s incident in Gujarat. First of all, I express condolences to the families of all those who died in the unfortunate incident. May all those who died, rest in peace,” said Shah.

The Union Home Minister Shah’s remarks came as he attended an event in the national capital where President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, and Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary on Monday.