Gujarat government-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), as part of its preliminary probe in the Morbi bridge collapse, has found that half of the wires on one cable were corroded and that old suspenders were welded with new ones-major faults that led to the tragedy, which killed 135 people. This information has been received from the findings of the ‘Preliminary Report on Morbi Bridge Incident’ submitted by the five-member SIT in December 2022. The report was recently shared with the Morbi Municipality by the state urban development department.
The bridge was situated on the Manchchu river. The Oreva Group was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the British-era suspension bridge that collapsed on October 30 last year. The reason for its fall was certain lapses in repairs, maintenance and operation of the bridge.
IAS officer Rajkumar Beniwal., IPS officer Subhash Trivedi, a secretary and a chief engineer from the state roads and building department and a professor of structural engineering were members of the SIT. The SIT noted that of the two main cables of the bridge, built by the erstwhile rulers in 1887 over Machchhu river, one cable was having issues of corrosion and nearly half of its wires “may be already broken” even before the cable snapped on October 30 evening. According to the SIT, the main cable on the upstream side snapped, leading to a great tragedy.
The SIT also found that during the renovation work, “old suspenders (steel rods which connect the cable with the platform deck) were welded with new ones. Notably, the Morbi municipality, without the approval of the general board, had awarded the contract to maintain and operate the bridge to Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Limited), which had closed the bridge in March 2022 for renovation and opened it on October 26 without any prior approval or inspection.
Loss of Lives in the Morbi Bridge Collapse Tragedy
The main reason for the cause for Morbi bridge collapse was, it was not subjected to inspection by the civic authorities. It has emerged that after the reparation and renovation, no safety audit was conducted and the bridge was reopened sans the nod of the local civic body. Officials of the local municipality claimed that no permission was sought from the civic body before reopening the bridge on October 26th.
A total of almost 135 people lost their lives, among this 55 of them were children and 180 survived with injuries. The findings on the reason of collapse is still being searched by different agencies.