2 Nov 2022

Gujarat Bridge Collapse: Contractors Did Not Have Knowledge About Technology Of Suspension Bridge, Police Tell Court

Ahmedabad: Morbi's suspension bridge accident happened because the contractors who were given the work of bridge repair were not qualified to do it. The police have told the court that they did not have the necessary knowledge about the technology of suspension bridges and the strength of the structure. So they focused only on the outer decoration of the bridge. That's why the bridge looked fine, but it was weak from inside.

Anchor pins on which the cables were fastened  were not checked: The historic bridge of Morbi was claimed to be renovated at a cost of Rs 2 crore, but it collapsed five days after its opening. During the investigation of the structural engineers, it was found that during this time the strength of the anchor pin holding the cable was not taken into account. Due to the load, the anchor pin on the Darbargarh end of the bridge got uprooted and the bridge leaned to one side and fell into the river.

Anchor pin had a capacity to hold 125 people: The anchor pin in Morbi bridge had a capacity of 125 people, but on Sunday more than 350 people were allowed to go on the bridge at once. The contractors and officials did not even notice that the bridge is 143 years old. Its anchor pins were not able to handle that much load. As a result, due to the burden of the people, one such pin broke and people fell down.

Bridge accident happened because of its new flooring: In the name of renovation, the wooden base of the bridge was replaced with four layers of aluminum sheets. This greatly increased the weight of the bridge. The old cables could not handle this load as the congestion increased and the bridge collapsed. Gujarat Police have given this information by filing an affidavit in the court.

Accused produced in the magisterial court: On the evening of October 30 in Morbi, the police had arrested nine people in connection with the collapse of the suspension bridge. They were produced in the magisterial court in Morbi on Tuesday. In the affidavit submitted by the police to the court seeking the remand of all the accused, the weight of the bridge has been cited as the reason for its collapse. So far 135 deaths have been confirmed in this incident.

Gujarat Police on Tuesday filed a forensic report of the bridge accident in the magisterial court. This report is submitted in a sealed cover. Public prosecutor Panchal told after the hearing that it is clearly written in the remand application presented by the police that work was not done on the strength of the bridge structure during the repair. Only the wood was removed from the bridge's flooring and aluminum sheets were installed. 

When the weight increased, the cables broke and people fell into the river. Public prosecutor Panchal said that during the investigation of the Forensic Science Lab, it has been found that the four cables on which the bridge rests were not replaced during six months of repairs. According to forensic experts, the very old cables could not bear the weight of the people including the new flooring and the cables broke due to excessive weight.

Compensation given: Meanwhile, state minister Rajendra Trivedi said 170 persons were rescued after the collapse. “The kin of all the deceased have already been paid a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each as announced by the Gujarat government. A compensation of Rs 2 lakh announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be deposited soon into their bank accounts,” he told reporters in Gandhinagar.

Trivedi said only 17 people, out of those rescued after the accident, were at present under treatment at various hospitals in Morbi.

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