PM Modi condoles loss of lives in Gujarat bridge collapse
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the deaths in the bridge collapse incident in Gujarat's Morbi city and stated that rescue ops were underway and there would be no laxity in rescue and relief efforts.
"I express my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the accident. In this hour of grief, the government is with the bereaved families in every manner. 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 prime minister said that Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel had reached Morbi and has been holding the command of search and rescue ops since the night of the incident, October 30.
The death toll in the Morbi hanging bridge collapse incident increased to 132, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said on October 31.
The Gujarat Home Minister further informed that a criminal case has been registered in connection with the incident.
Teams including Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF, and Fire Brigade conducted a search operation throughout the night to find the Garkaw victims in Macchu river after the bridge collapsed, as per officials.
Eyewitnesses' accounts painted a heart-wrenching picture of the tragedy.
A tea seller in the vicinity who watched with horror the recently renovated 140-year-old suspension bridge collapse said that people were hanging on to the Julto Pul, as the bridge is commonly known, went down.
"Everything happened within seconds. I saw people hanging on to the bridge and later falling into the water as their grip loosened and they slipped into the water. It was really heart wrenching," he said.
"I have never seen anything like this. There was this small kid. We tried rescuing her. She spat out a lot of water and we were really happy that she would survive, however she soon took her last breath in front of me as we rushed her to the hospital. I was shaken," he added as tears filled his eyes.