Gujarat Morbi Bridge Tragedy: In Gujarat’s Morbi, nine people were detained after 141 people died in a bridge collapse. The group included officials from Oreva, the company that renovated the bridge, ticket sellers, and security guards.
Several safety rules were violated by Gujarat-based Oreva, leading to the tragedy just four days after the bridge reopened.
Gujarat Morbi bridge history: A 100 years old structure, built by…
141 Dead, Gujarat Bridge Was Disaster Waiting To Happen
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Oreva, a watchmaker, allegedly outsourced the “technical aspect of the bridge renovation” to Devprakash Solutions after signing a 15-year contract with the Morbi civic body.
In March, Oreva was hired to repair the historic colonial-era bridge. Seven months later, on October 26, the Gujarati New Year, the bridge was reopened to the public. A maintenance and repair contract required the company to close the bridge for at least eight to 12 months. According to a police report that does not name anyone, opening the bridge last week was “seriously irresponsible and careless.”
According to the FIR, those assigned the task of repairing, maintaining, and managing the bridge “did not perform the repair/maintenance work appropriately.” Although aware of the dangers, they did not perform a proper quality check.
A total of nearly 500 tickets were sold yesterday, causing the old metal cables on the “hanging bridge” to give way due to overcrowding. CCTV footage shows a few people on the bridge rocking it, which can support only 125 people.
The contract allowed the company to raise ticket prices every year until 2037.
According to Oreva Managing Director Jaysukhbhai Patel, the company completed “100% renovation with two crores” last week.
According to him, the renovated bridge would last for eight to ten years. The event lasted only a week.
Patel’s own words raised questions about the bridge’s strength. “We also don’t want the crowd to overwhelm the bridge, so we will charge for entry,” he explained, explaining why the company is selling tickets.
In addition, the company said it is considering opening the bridge for two hours at night.
The bridge collapsed due to too many people trying to sway it from one side to the other, a group spokesperson told PTI.
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