MORBI, KOMPAS.com - At least 130 people were killed in India after a colonial-era pedestrian bridge collapsed, sending scores of people tumbling into the river below, police said Monday, Oct. 31.
Authorities said nearly 500 people, including women and children, were celebrating a religious festival on and around the nearly 150-year-old suspension bridge in Morbi in western India when cables supporting it snapped soon after dark on Sunday, Oct. 30.
This brought the rickety structure in the state of Gujarat crashing into the river, spilling scores of people into the water while others clung desperately to the wreckage.
"The death toll now stands at 130," Morbi superintendent of police Rahul Tripathi told AFP, adding that around 15 other people were being treated in hospital.
The bridge over the Machchhu river around 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Gujarat's main city, Ahmedabad, had only reopened several days earlier after months of repairs.
"People fell on top of each other after the bridge collapsed," one witness told local media. "People had flocked to the bridge for rituals and because of the Diwali festival. Many children and women were among the victims."
News reports showed videos -- which could not be independently verified -- of people hanging on to what remained of the bridge or trying to swim to safety in the dark.
P. Dekavadiya, the head of police in Morbi, told AFP by phone that more than 130 people had been rescued.