March 22, 2023

Investigation into lethal collapse of suspension bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi city finds a number of structural and operational violations.

Damaged corroded wires, improper welding and modifications to the strolling floor of a 145-year-old hanging bridge in India contributed to its collapse final yr that killed 135 individuals, an investigation has discovered.

The colonial-era suspension bridge in Morbi city within the western state of Gujarat was full of sightseers when it collapsed on October 30, plunging a whole bunch into the Machchu river. It had reopened simply days in the past, following months of repairs.

A five-member particular investigation staff, fashioned by the state authorities, discovered that the primary cables weren’t inspected or changed, no load check or structural check was performed earlier than opening the bridge and much more individuals had been current on the bridge throughout the incident than its capability.

“Primary cable of the upstream aspect was discovered damaged on one aspect,” in accordance with a preliminary investigation report seen by the Reuters information company on Monday.

“Out of the 49 wires of the primary cable, 22 had been corroded which signifies that these wires could have already been damaged earlier than the incident. The remaining 27 wires broke just lately.

India Gujarat bridge
Folks cling to the collapsed suspension bridge in Morbi [File: ANI/ Handout via Reuters]

The bridge – 233 meters in size and 1.25 meters vast – had been closed for greater than seven months for repairs till the week of the lethal collapse.

Safety digicam footage confirmed a gaggle of younger males taking photographs whereas others tried to rock the bridge backward and forward within the moments earlier than the cables snapped they usually plunged from the slim walkway.

Sandeepsinh Zala, Morbi’s municipal chief on the time of the collapse, was suspended by the state in November whereas police final month arrested Jaysukh Patel, the managing director of the Oreva Group, which had been given the contract for repairing and working the construction.

The Oreva Group didn’t instantly reply to an emailed request for remark.

The report stated the renovated deck on the bridge was incorrectly joined by welding outdated suspenders with new ones, whereas picket planks had been changed by aluminum sheets.

“If there have been particular person picket planks as a substitute of an aluminum deck, then resulting from its versatile behaviour, the variety of casualties may have been much less,” the report stated, including that the primary cables and suspenders had not been examined throughout the renovation.

The report stated Zala didn’t act as per regulation in signing the settlement with Oreva, an organization finest identified for making clocks and electrical merchandise. The report blamed Oreva for permitting individuals unrestricted entry to the bridge and inadequate safety preparations.

“Restore work was carried out with out consulting competent technical consultants. The corporate outsourced the restore works to a non-competent company,” it stated.

Zala declined to remark as a result of the matter was in court docket.

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