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Soon after the bridge visit, the Prime Minister reached the civil hospital in Morbi where the injured are being treated. The Prime Minister was seen asking the survivors about their health.
A little after that, the Prime Minister chaired a high level meeting to review the situation and directed that authorities must stay in touch with the affected families and ensure that they receive all possible help. He also said that the need of the hour is to conduct a detailed and extensive inquiry and key learnings from it must be implemented at the very earliest.
The NDTV team visited the hospital last night and found a huge post-midnight "makeover" in progress ahead of the visit. The renovation, which is not uncommon ahead of visits by top government functionaries, has attracted criticism. Opposition parties Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have accused the BJP of being busy with "event management" to ensure a "photoshoot" for the Prime Minister.
The British-era suspension bridge in Morbi, which had been closed since March for renovation, collapsed on Sunday night - just four days after it reopened to the public. At least 47 children, several women and elderly are among the dead, according to the officials.
The bridge was opened to the public ahead of schedule by five months, the documents show. The Oreva Group, the company that renovated the bridge, did not take a fitness certificate from the civic authorities before opening the bridge, which Morbi municipal agency chief Sandipsinh Zala confirmed to NDTV on Sunday.
The company was bound by its contract to keep the bridge shut for at least eight to 12 months for maintenance and repairs. It was a "seriously irresponsible and careless gesture" to open the bridge last week, the police said in an FIR.
Tickets were sold for Rs 12 to Rs 17 on Sunday to more than 400 people, officials said, which resulted in overcrowding on the "hanging bridge", causing the old metal cables to give way. Gujarat's forensics laboratory has also found that the bridge collapsed under the weight of the huge rush of people, sources have said.
Some of the old cables of the bridge in Morbi weren't changed during the seven-month renovation by the Oreva Group, sources added. Nine people have been arrested in the case so far. Among them are managers of Oreva, ticket collectors, bridge repair contractors and three security guards whose job was to control the crowds.
A Public Interest Litigation or PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a judicial probe into the Morbi bridge collapse. The PIL also seeks directions to the states to conduct a survey of all the "old and risky" structures. The Supreme Court will take up the plea on November 14.
People fell on top of each other after the bridge snapped. Videos showed many desperately clinging to the remains of the bridge while some were seen swimming to safety. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has declared a statewide mourning on Wednesday for the victims of the bridge collapse.
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