Death toll from India bridge collapse rises to 134

The death toll from a footbridge collapse in India increased to 134, with numerous children killed, as police detained nine people as part of a criminal investigation into one of the country’s deadliest tragedies in the last decade.

On Sunday, a footbridge across the Machhu River in the town of Morbi collapsed, throwing people into the river below. The bridge was crowded with tourists enjoying holiday festivities.

CCTV footage from before the collapse showed a group of young guys taking selfies while others attempted to rock the suspension bridge from side to side before falling into the river below as the cables holding it together failed.

“The death toll in the bridge collapse incident has gone up. The search and rescue operations are continuing,” said the senior official, NK Muchhar, adding that the toll could rise further.

According to Muchhar, emergency teams from neighbouring regions and members of the armed forces were dispatched to assist with rescue efforts and track down the missing.

More than 400 people, according to the authorities, were on and around the colonial-era suspension bridge when it collapsed. The Chhath Puja and Diwali vacations have brought a large number of tourists to the bridge.

Local officials told Reuters the manager of the bridge, a company making clocks and electrical items, had not informed the authorities that the bridge would be reopened last week after repairs, adding that no certificate was fit for public use had been issued.

A five-person committee was selected to look into the catastrophe.

The 230-meter bridge was constructed in the 19th century when Britain was in power. It recently reopened to the public after six months of closure for renovations.

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