India bridge collapse victims include 12 relatives of Rajkot politician

The dead include five children, four women and three men, all close relatives of Lok Sabha member Mohan Kundariya's elder brother

By Agencies

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Indian rescue personnel conduct search operations after a bridge across the river Machchhu collapsed in Morbi, some 220km from Ahmedabad, early on Monday. — AFP
Indian rescue personnel conduct search operations after a bridge across the river Machchhu collapsed in Morbi, some 220km from Ahmedabad, early on Monday. — AFP

Published: Mon 31 Oct 2022, 9:43 PM

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Rajkot, Mohan Kundariya, on Monday said 12 of his relatives were among those killed in the suspension bridge collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi town.

They had gone to visit the picnic spot on Sunday when the tragedy took place, the BJP MP said.


More than 130 people were killed after a suspension bridge on the Machchhu River collapsed on Sunday evening, according to the police.

Kundariya said the 12 victims of his family included five children, four women and three men, all close relatives of his elder brother. Strict action will be taken against those responsible for the tragedy, he said. “Four daughters of the brother-in-law of my elder brother, the husbands of three of them and five children were killed in the accident,” Kundariya said.


They belonged to different villages in Tankara taluka and were settled in Morbi, he said.

“As it was Sunday, they had gone to the picnic spot where the tragedy occurred. I reached there half-an-hour after the incident took place and have been at the spot since yesterday, helping in the rescue work,” the MP added. “It is very saddening. Machinery are present at the spot to pump out the water so that we can figure out the bodies underneath, as there’s a lot of silt. I believe the bridge got overloaded and that led to the incident. Many teams are engaged in rescue,” Kundariya told ANI.

“So many people have been killed. We will take strict action against those responsible for the incident,” he said.

Jadeja family lose 7 members

The tragedy also claimed the lives of seven members of the Jadeja family. They were returning from a temple in Morbi when the children asked to be taken to a suspension bridge, a local tourist attraction that had reopened after repairs. Around 6:20pm, the low-hanging, colonial-era footbridge, which was heaving with hundreds of sightseers, suddenly gave way.

“They were on the bridge when it collapsed,” said Kanaksinh Jadeja, a cousin of the two Jadeja brothers — Pratapsinh and Pradyumansinh — who lost their mother, wives and four children.

The brothers were at work at a hotel they run in the small industrial town at the time but realised something was amiss when they got home around 8pm to find the door locked.

“None of the family members’ phones were reachable,” the cousin said. “They realised something was wrong and then they heard about the bridge collapse.”

The Jadeja siblings first rushed to the site of the disaster but they could not find any of their family, said their cousin.

The brothers then went to Morbi’s government-run civil hospital, about a kilometre from the riverside, where they found their mother’s body around 10pm.

The bodies of their wives and the children, aged between five and 10 years, were brought to the hospital later in the night, where they were identified by the bereaved brothers. All seven were cremated early on Monday.

Narendrasinh Jadeja, a friend of Pratapsinh Jadeja, described the Jadejas as a contented and close-knit family that all lived together in Morbi.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat government on Monday announced that a high-powered committee has been set up to investigate the incident.



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