Death toll rises to 141 after shock bridge collapse in India

The colonial-era pedestrian suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, which collapsed Sunday killing at least 141 people (Camaal Mustafa Sikan…/CC BY 3.0)
At least 141 people including many children died Sunday in India when a colonial-era pedestrian suspension bridge crowded with people celebrating a religious festival collapsed suddenly, plunging them into the river below at Morbi in Gujarat state.

The more-than-a-century-old bridge had been reopened a few days before, having been closed for seven months for repairs, Indian broadcaster NDTV reports.

177 people were rescued, with some managing to swim to shore.

Footage captured moments before the collapse show some in the crowd apparently trying to make the bridge sway.

Local member of parliament Mohanbhai Kundariya lost 12 members of his family in the disaster, five children among them, the BBC reports.

Questions have been raised over why the contract to repair the bridge was awarded to a subsidiary of Gujarat-based Oreva group, which manufactures clocks, appliances, lighting and e-bikes.

Oreva group’s contract with Morbi municipal authorities sees it maintaining the bridge for 15 years and collecting revenue through pedestrian tolls, reports NDTV, which said it had seen the document.

An investigation has been launched into the collapse.

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