Authorities in India say at least 132 people have died following the collapse Sunday of a recently renovated, century-old suspension bridge over the Macchu river in the western state of Gujarat.
Many people have been hospitalized and officials say they fear the death count could rise.
Local media reports said Monday that the nearly 150-year-old bridge opened five days ago after undergoing “seven months of repair work by a private firm.” The reports said the Morbi city bridge had not, however, received the local government’s fitness or safety certificate.
Hundreds of people had crowded onto the bridge during celebrations for the Hindu festival of Diwali, officials said.
Emergency workers and teams of military personnel have been deployed to the site to help in the rescue operation.
Authorities are planning to stop water supply to the river from the nearby check dam and use pumps to de-water the river to speed up the search operation, Agence France-Press reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Gujarat at the time of the accident, said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy” in his home state. His office has announced compensation for the families of the dead.