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At least 60 dead and many injured after India bridge collapse

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NEW DELHI – At least 60 people have died and many are feared injured after a cable bridge collapsed into a river in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday night, local media reported.

Officials told local media that more than a hundred people were submerged in the Machchu River when the bridge collapsed in the state’s Morbi district. It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bridge, but officials fear the death toll could rise.

Minister of State Brijesh Merja told television channels that so far 60 people have died and 17 people have been hospitalized.

Days ago, the 19th-century colonial-era bridge reopened after renovation. Officials said the bridge broke down because it couldn’t handle the number of people on it.

“The collapse of the bridge caused several people to fall into the river. A rescue operation is underway,” Merja told the Press Trust of India news agency. “There are reports that several people have been injured. They are rushed to hospitals.”

Videos on social media showed people clinging to the partially submerged bridge in distress, while another showed people swimming to safety.

Rescue operations are underway, with national emergency response teams rushing to the site, local media reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in his home state of Gujarat for a three-day visit, said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy”. His office announced compensation for the families of the dead and urged rapid rescue efforts.

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