India bridge collapse: Death toll rises to 141, many still missing

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – At least 141 people died when a pedestrian suspension bridge collapsed in India’s western state of Gujarat.

A local official said most of those who had died were women, children or elderly. The bridge in Morbi had been reopened just a week ago after repairs.

There was overcrowding on the bridge at the time as people celebrated the Diwali festival, officials said.

The 230m (754ft) bridge on the Machchu river was built during British rule in the 19th Century.

The death toll is expected to rise further.

Police, military and disaster response teams were deployed and the rescue effort is continuing.

More than 177 people have been rescued so far, officials said.

“Many children were enjoying holidays for Diwali and they came here as tourists,” an eyewitness called Sukram told Reuters news agency.

“All of them fell one on top of another. The bridge collapsed due to overloading.”

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