The century-old pedestrian bridge had just reopened after renovations four days before the deadly collapse
By Lorraine Taylor
At least 132 people were killed, according to Gujarat state authorities in western India, when a pedestrian suspension bridge gave way and fell into the Machchu river on Sunday night.
The century-old cable suspension bridge, according to the authorities, couldn’t support the weight of the sizable crowd that had gathered. Four days after it had reopened, the bridge collapsed. Before that, it had been closed for renovations for almost six months.
Hundreds of people visited the recently opened tourist attraction during the Hindu festival season.
Hundreds of people were sent plunging into the water when the bridge gave way. State minister Harsh Sanghvi said those killed and injured were mostly teens, women and older people.
Officials said it’s not clear exactly how many people ware on the 761-foot-long bridge, but they fear the number of dead could rise.
Sanghvi told reporters that 132 people have died so far and many were admitted to hospitals in critical condition.
Emergency responders and rescuers have been searching for survivors since the collapse happened.
Teams from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force were dispatched to help with the rescue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy.”
His office announced compensation to the families of the dead and urged for speedy rescue efforts.
The state government said it formed a special team to investigate the disaster.
The bridge collapse is Asia’s third major disaster involving large crowds in a month.
On Saturday, a Halloween crowd surge killed more than 150 mostly young people who attended festivities in Itaewon, a neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea.
On Oct. 1, police in Indonesia fired tear gas at a soccer match, causing a crush that killed 132 people as spectators attempted to flee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.