Indian police have arrested nine people in connection with a catastrophic bridge collapse that killed 134 people on Sunday, including staff and contractors responsible for maintenance.
The pedestrian suspension bridge, which was built in Gujarat in 1877, reportedly collapsed into the Machhu river due to overcrowding. The bridge had just reopened a week prior after months of renovations.
Nearly 500 people were present on the bridge when the support cables failed. According to officials, the bridge was only capable of supporting about 125 people.
Additionally, CCTV footage of the bridge shows a group of young men intentionally swaying the bridge before it collapsed into the river below. Ashwin Mehra, who survived the bridge’s collapse, reportedly witnessed the group rocking the bridge.
“There were about 15-20 boys aged between 20-25 years who were shaking the bridge,” he was quoted as saying. “…We heard some sounds three times, and the sixth time the cable (of the bridge) suddenly snapped.”
Among those arrested in connection with the bridge’s collapse were two managers of Oreva, the manufacturing company contracted to repair the bridge, as well as two ticketing clerks, three security guards and two contractors responsible for structural maintenance.
According to a senior police official, there will likely be future arrests.