CCTV Footage Shows Visitors Vigorously Shaking Suspension Bridge as it Collapses in India: Death Toll Climbs to 134

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CCTV footage reveals the exact moment a suspension bridge in the Indian city of Morbi snapped, killing more than 130 people.

The CCTV footage shows a group of young men vigorously shaking the suspension bridge to check its strength, right before it snaps.

Group of Men Seen Checking 'Fitness' of the Bridge Before Collapse

Morbi bridge collapse
A still from the CCTV footage (left) and the aftermath of the incident that has claimed 134 lives so far. Twitter

The bridge, which had been newly renovated and opened on October 26, saw a huge surge of tourists on Sunday evening and allegedly snapped as it could not handle the weight. 134 people (including a large number of children, women and elderly) died after falling into the Machchhu River.

Several eyewitnesses confirmed to local news outlet News18 that a group of young men were shaking the bridge intentionally, allegedly checking the "fitness" of the bridge.

The 230-metre (755 ft) bridge was built during British colonial rule in 1877. Some 400 people had bought tickets to get onto the bridge to celebrate the Diwali and Chhath Puja festivals, less than a week after the span was reopened following renovations.

Rescue Operations Underway, Many More Feared Trapped Under Floor of Bridge

Armed forces personnel along with national disaster management and emergency teams from nearby districts were deployed to trace missing people and help with rescue operations.

Recovery divers were searching the murky river for bodies, VVN Prasanna Kumar, a senior officer of the national disaster management team, told ANI.

"The only challenge is that this is muddy water that causes visibility issues," he said. "We suspect that there might be people trapped under the floor of the bridge."

Investigation Ordered by Government

Government officials also alleged that the bridge, renovated by private group Oreva, had not been given a "fitness certificate" by civic authorities before it opened.

Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said that the state government has formed a committee to probe the collapse. An FIR was also lodged in the bridge collapse under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (intentional act causing death) and 114 (abettor present when offence committed), against whoever is found responsible, Sanghavi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former chief minister of Gujarat, expressed his condolences to the victims' families.

"In this hour of grief, the government is with the bereaved families in every manner. The Gujarat government is carrying out relief and rescue operations since yesterday. The central government too is extending all help to the state government," he said.