Gujarat bridge collapse: President and PM express anguish as death toll rises to 133
The death toll in the Morbi suspension bridge collapse in Gujarat has reached 133 as on Monday morning, with search and rescue operations continuing with teams from the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force also pitching in. Several top leaders including President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed their grief after the Gujarat bridge collapse on Sunday.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi have also appealed to all party workers in the state of Gujarat to extend all possible assistance towards the rescue work. As many as 93 people were also injured after the century old cable suspension bridge had collapsed after it was reopened after months of repair work. Minister of State for Panchayat Brijesh Merja has, however, put the death toll at 132. Merja told The Indian Express, “One hundred and thirty-two people are confirmed dead so far and two persons are still reported missing. Search and rescue operation is still on and injured are being treated.”
Two columns of the Army from Surendranagar and Bhuj and a team of Garud commandos from the Indian Air Force from Jamnagar are assisting in the search and rescue operation. Two teams from the Indian Navy, that include 50 divers, have been called in from Jamnagar and Porbandar. A medical team from the Army from Surendranagar has also been called in for assistance. Apart from this, five teams of the NDRF, eight platoons of the SDRF, and seven teams from the fire brigade are already on the accident site, as reported by The Indian Express.
Many Congress leaders have started playing politics around the horrific event. Randeep Srujewala is one such leader who has called it a “man-made tragedy.” Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh asked if the incident was an “act of God or an act of fraud”.
Expressing his grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced compensation of INR 2 lakh for families of every person who has died in the incident. “Relief and rescue operations are going on in full swing and all necessary assistance is being provided,” the prime minister said. President Murmu, in a tweet, said, “The tragedy in Morbi, Gujarat has left me worried. My thoughts and prayers are with the affected people. Relief and rescue efforts will bring succour to the victims.”