Officials in the western Indian state of Gujarat said at least 132 people were killed after a pedestrian suspension bridge collapsed into the Machchu river Sunday evening.
Authorities said the century-old cable suspension bridge collapsed because it couldn’t handle the weight of the large crowd that had gathered. The bridge had only just reopened four days before the collapse. It had been closed for renovations for nearly six months before that.
The Hindu festival season drew hundreds of people to the recently opened tourist attraction.
Hundreds of people were sent plunging into the water when the bridge gave way. State minister Harsh Sanghvi said those killed and injured were mostly teens, women and older people.
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Officials said it’s not clear exactly how many people ware on the 761-foot-long bridge, but they fear the number of dead could rise.
Sanghvi told reporters that 132 people have died so far and many were admitted to hospitals in critical condition.
Emergency responders and rescuers have been searching for survivors since the collapse happened.
Teams from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force were dispatched to help with the rescue.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy.”
His office announced compensation to the families of the dead and urged for speedy rescue efforts.
The state government said it formed a special team to investigate the disaster.
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The bridge collapse is Asia’s third major disaster involving large crowds in a month.
On Saturday, a Halloween crowd surge killed more than 150 mostly young people who attended festivities in Itaewon, a neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea.
On Oct. 1, police in Indonesia fired tear gas at a soccer match, causing a crush that killed 132 people as spectators attempted to flee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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