At least 141 people died and many were injured after a cable bridge collapsed into a river in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday evening, local media reported.
Officials told local media over a hundred people were plunged into the Machchu river when the bridge in the state’s Morbi district collapsed. It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bridge, but officials fear the death toll could rise. As of early Monday morning, 177 people had been rescued.
Days ago, the 19th-century, colonial-era bridge was reopened after renovation. Officials said that the bridge gave way because it could not handle the number of people on it.
“Due to the bridge collapse, several people fell into the river. A rescue operation is underway,” Merja was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. “There are reports that several people have suffered injuries. They are being rushed to hospitals.”
Videos on social media showed people clinging onto the partly submerged bridge in distress while another showed people swimming to safety.
Rescue operations are underway, with National Disaster Response Force Teams rushing to the site, local media reported. India’s Army, Air Force and Navy also joined the rescue efforts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in his home state of Gujarat on a three-day visit, said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy.” His office announced compensation to the families of the dead and urged for speedy rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, the state government said it has formed a special team to investigate the disaster.
The bridge collapse is Asia’s third major disaster 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.