No person reported missing in bridge collapse: Morbi admin

NO PERSON is reported missing in connection with the Jhoolto Pul suspension bridge collapse, Morbi district administration said on Thursday.

Interacting with media persons, Morbi district collector GT Pandya said that a person from Punjab who was being treated as missing following a phone call to that effect to the district disaster control room is not officially considered as missing now.

The collector said that after conducting an inquiry, police submitted a report stating the call to the control room was a hoax. The collector further said that administration contacted the number from which the phone call was made and tried contacting family members of the said person. The enquiry concluded that there is nobody with that name.

Even as the administration was busy ascertaining the veracity of the information given about the said person to the control room, NDRF and other first respondents continued search and rescue operations in Machchhu river for the fifth consecutive day. Dewatering pumps were also installed downstream in an attempt to bring water level down in the stretch the river where the Jhoolto Pul collapsed on Sunday.

The deck of the 137-year-old bridge constructed by the erstwhile royal family of Morbi in 1887 had plunged into Machchhu on Sunday evening as one of its steel cables snapped. While 272 people were rescued, 135 including 34 children and 40 women died.
Meanwhile, the royal family performed a yagna for peace of souls of the 135 killed in the accident in Durbargadh, the court of the erstwhile rulers.

It was in the Durbargadh compound that the western edges of the two steel cables supporting the suspension bridge were anchored. Meerabapa, the princess of the erstwhile royal family, presided over the ritual and made offerings for the peace of the souls of those killed in the accident. Later on, she offered floral tributes in front of the photo of the collapsed bridge.

The yagna came a day after the family had announced Rs 1 lakh ex gratia compensation as a gesture of relief to the kin of those killed in the incident.

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