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Oreva, the Gujarat-based watchmaker that renovated the bridge, was given the contract by the Morbi city municipal body in March and no tender route was taken, the contract document shows. Some of the old wires holding the bridge together remained even after the renovation.
Gujarat's forensics laboratory has also found that the bridge collapsed under the weight of the huge rush of people, sources have said. The forensics team pulled out metal samples of the bridge with heavy cutting tools for analysis.
The swelling crowds put stress on the structural integrity of the bridge, leading to the tragedy, sources in the forensics team said.
Footage from just before the collapse showed a group of people taking photos while others tried to sway the bridge before they tumbled into the river as the metal cables gave way.
The municipal body's chief Sandeepsinh Zala said Oreva did not inform the authorities about reopening the bridge and the company had not been issued a fitness certificate to do so. Oreva hasn't responded to this allegation.
The watchmaker reportedly outsourced the "technical aspect of the renovation" to a smaller construction company, Devprakash Solutions.
While opening the bridge last week, Oreva Managing Director Jaysukhbhai Patel had said that the company had done "100 per cent renovation in Rs 2 crore".
Nine people have been arrested after the police filed a First Information Report, or FIR, over the tragedy. Among them are managers of Oreva, ticket collectors, bridge repair contractors and three security guards whose job was to control the crowds.
The search operation in the River Machhu has been called off for the day, officials said, adding they will resume it tomorrow morning. Nearly a hundred bodies are feared trapped in the muddy water, they said.
Many people who were nearer to both ends of the bridge died as there is no water below, only hard ground. Those who were in the middle of the bridge fell into the river and drowned.
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