India Bridge Collapse Results In At Least 140 Deaths And Criminal Charges

The New York Times reports, a pedestrian toll bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, collapsed last evening, resulting in the deaths of at least 140 people. Built in 1880 and recently reopened after a seven-months-long restoration, the landmark span may have been over capacity when it failed. There are also reports that it did not receive an official safety certification before reopening. The Times notes, “India’s infrastructure has long been marred by safety concerns. Allegations of corruption have also swirled around the huge amounts of money channeled to construction and maintenance, depriving Indians of quality roads and bridges and leading to frequent mass-casualty episodes.”

The Washington Post reports, officials today arrested nine people, among whom were employees of the company that operates the bridge and its construction contractors, on charges of culpable homicide, an offense similar to the US crime of manslaughter. Police said criminal charges will also be filed against bridge management and maintenance entities.

The Hindu is continuously updating its coverage of the collapse and disaster recovery efforts.