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’30 killed’ in suspension bridge collapse in India’s Gujarat state

At least 30 people were killed and dozens critically injured when a suspension bridge in India’s western Gujarat state collapsed on Sunday, two government officials said.

Only last week the bridge had been reopened to the public following months of renovation work, reports say.

“We can confirm that 30 people have lost their lives, many have been rescued from the river and some are still missing,” said Amit Jhala, a senior administrator at the state-run hospital to where victims had been taken.

According to the Press Trust of India news agency, at least 32 people died. The bridge gave way as it could not handle the number of people on it, officials told PTI.

More than 400 people were on the bridge over the Machhu River in the town of Morbi at the time of the collapse, local TV channel Zee News said. Other local media also say hundreds were on the bridge but how many is not known.

Footage broadcast by the TV channel showed dozens of people clinging onto the cables of the collapsed bridge as emergency teams struggled to rescue them.

The 230-metre historic bridge was built during British rule in the 19th century. It had been closed for renovation for six months before being reopened for the public last week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in his home state Gujarat for a three-day visit, said he has directed the state chief minister to mobilise teams urgently for the rescue operation.

In May, at least a dozen workers were killed in Morbi and more than a dozen were injured after a wall collapsed at a salt packaging factory.

File source

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