The toll in the Gujarat bridge collapse has risen to 132, Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said on Monday morning, reported ANI.
Earlier on Monday, the Gujarat Information Department said that 177 persons have been rescued and 19 were undergoing treatment.
“Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF, and fire brigade are conducting search operations,” said the department added.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s Office said that an isolation ward has also been set up for treating the injured, reported NDTV.
The police have filed a first information report in the case.
They said that the bridge collapsed due to the “gross negligence and careless act of mismanagement”, according to The Indian Express. The bridge was being managed by city-based Oreva Group but the police have not named the company in the FIR.
The police said that the bridge was not properly repaired before it was reopened.
The case has been lodged under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed).
The old bridge had been shut for seven months for renovation and was reopened on October 26, the Gujarati New Year. The renovator of the bridge had not taken a fitness certificate from the authorities before reopening it, local municipal body’s chief Sandipsinh Zala told NDTV.
“Renovation happened last week,” Gujarat minister Brijesh Merja told NDTV on Sunday. “We are also shocked. We are looking into the matter. The government takes responsibility for this tragedy.”
In a video of the moment when the tragedy occurred, a group of men can be seen tugging at the railings of the bridge before it snaps.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi has said that a five-member committee will investigate the collapse.
Patel expressed grief and has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for families of the victims and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Centre will spare no effort to provide help: PM
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the Centre will spare no effort to aid in relief operations, reported the Hindustan Times.
“Even as I speak before you people, my heart is with those affected due to the tragedy,” Modi said Narmada district’s Kevadia town. “Rarely in my life, would I have experienced such pain. On one hand, there is a pain-riddled heart and on the other hand, there is the path to duty.”
The prime minister has already announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the dead, reported News18.
On Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said he was saddened by the incident, adding that he has spoken to Sanghavi about the incident.
“Local administration is engaged in relief work with full readiness, NDRF is also reaching the spot soon,” he tweeted. “The administration has been directed to provide immediate treatment to the injured.”
Meanwhile, the Congress has demanded that an investigation headed by a High Court or Supreme Court judge be conducted into the incident, PTI reported.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge questioned why so many people had been allowed on the bridge.
“We don’t want to indulge in any politics over it or blame anyone at this point of time,” he said. “Blame can be established only when the report of the probe is out.”