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Nine arrested over Indian Bridge Collapse that has killed over 130 people

Oct 31, 2022

Indian police have arrested nine people on Monday October 31, in connection with the collapse of a bridge in western India that killed more than 130 people.

The nine people were associated with a company that maintained the bridge in Morbi and are being investigated for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, senior police officer Ashok Kumar Yadav said in a statement.

Indian police arrested nine people including ticketing clerks, contractors, and three security guards, for failing to regulate crowds before the bridge crumpled as they investigate the collapse of a foot bridge in which at least 134 people, including many children, were killed.

CCTV footage from just before the collapse showed a group of young men taking photos while others tried to rock the suspension bridge in Morbi from side to side, before they tumbled into the river below as the cables broke.

The colonial-era bridge over the Machchhu River was packed with tourists enjoying holiday festivities when it ruptured on Sunday evening, sending people plunging about 10 metres (33 feet) into the water.

Ashwin Mehra, who was undergoing treatment after sustaining leg and back injuries, said he and six others had reached the shore by holding onto the bridge’s metal railings and netting.

“There were about 15-20 boys aged between 20-25 years who were shaking the bridge,” he told Reuters TV partner ANI. “…We heard some sounds three times, and the sixth time the cable (of the bridge) suddenly snapped.”

A senior police official said nine people had been arrested, including managerial staff, ticketing clerks and three security guards, for failing to regulate crowds before the bridge crumpled.

Two people awarded a contact to repair the structure, originally built in 1877, were among those arrested, Ashok Kumar Yadav said. He said there were likely to be more arrests.