Morbi Deputy Superintendent of Police P A Zala told a local court on Tuesday that the cable of the colonial-era suspension bridge, that collapsed and killed 135 people on Sunday, was “rusted” and that the incident would not have taken place had the cable been repaired, The Indian Express reported.
DSP Zala, seeking 10-day remand for four of the nine accused, submitted in court that the bridge was opened on October 26 without the approval of the government and no life-saving equipment or lifeguards were deployed.
“As part of maintenance and repair, only the platform (deck) was changed. No other work was undertaken as per FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report by a team that came from Gandhinagar,” Zala said, as quoted by IE.
“The bridge was on a cable, and no oiling or greasing of the cable was done. From where the cable broke, the cable was rusted. Had the cable been repaired, this incident would not have happened. No documentation of what work and how it was done has been maintained,” he added.
Further, the DSP said that the material that was procured or used for the work, whether its quality was checked or not, remains to be interrogated.
Meanwhile, one of the managers of the Oreva company that was responsible for the maintenance of the Jhoolto Pul, Deepak Parekh told the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate and Additional Senior Civil Judge M J Khan that it was the “will of God (Bhagwan ni ichcha)” that such an unfortunate incident had taken place.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Morbi bridge collapse site and reviewed the search and rescue operation that is ongoing. He also met the injured victims at the Morbi Civil Hospital, news agency PTI reported.
The PM called for a “detailed and extensive” inquiry into the collapse incident at the suspension bridge over the Machchhu river in Morbi town in Gujarat.
So far, nine people have been arrested, and police have filed a case against firms which were tasked with maintenance and operation of the structure. The tender for the maintenance of the bridge was given to the Oreva group by the Morbi municipality, as per PTI.