Police in India have arrested nine people in connection with the collapse of a recently repaired 143-year-old suspension bridge that killed at least 134 people Sunday evening.
While authorities in Gujarat state continued to investigate the collapse of the pedestrian bridge, Inspector-General Ashok Yadav announced the nine arrests included managerial staff, ticketing clerks and three security guards for failing to regulate crowds before the bridge crumbled.
“We won’t let the guilty get away, we won’t spare anyone,” Yadav said.
Gujarat said authorities opened a case against Oreva Group, the bridge’s operator, for suspected culpable homicide, attempted culpable homicide and other violations.
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He said there were likely to be more arrests, according to Reuters.
The bridge, originally built during British colonialism in 1877, had reopened just four days earlier following six months of repairs for the first day of the Gujarati New Year.
While the attraction drew hundreds of sightseers, it remained unclear how many people were on the bridge at the time of the collapse.
“There were just too many people on the bridge. We could barely move,” Sidik Bai, 27, said while recovering from injuries in a hospital bed in Morbi.
A security video of the disaster showed the bridge shaking violently while people desperately grasped at its cables and metal fencing. The aluminum walkway gave way, splitting the bridge down the middle, snapping its cables and crashing into the river.
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“There were about 15-20 boys aged between 20-25 years who were shaking the bridge,” Ashwin Mehra told ANI-TV while also recovering from injuries. “.We heard some sounds three times, and the sixth time the cable (of the bridge) suddenly snapped.”
Police said at least 134 people were confirmed dead, and many others were admitted to hospitals in critical condition. State minister Harsh Sanghvi said most of the victims were teenagers, women and older people.
Emergency responders and rescuers worked overnight and throughout Monday to search for survivors. At least 177 survivors were pulled from the river, said Jigar Khunt, an information department official in Gujarat.
It was unclear how many people remained missing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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