The police team investigating the accident that took place on Sunday (30 October) in Morbi, Gujarat recorded their statement in the local court on Tuesday. According to the investigating officer and Morbi Deputy Superintendent of Police PA Zala, the accident could have been averted had the rusted wires of the suspension bridge been repaired.
During the hearing, the police argued that out of the 9 accused, 4 of them were not qualified to carry out the repair work. It was also said that none of the four accused had undergone any kind of a training, which is why only the floor of the bridge was repaired and the wires that had rusted and needed immediate attention was ignored.
Deepak Parekh, one of the managers of the Oreva company responsible for maintenance of the bridge argued that a contract of only Rs 29 lakh was offered to carry out the repair work which went well, but “it was the will of God (Bhagwan ki ichcha) that such an unfortunate event happened.”
Government prosecutor H S Panchal sought a 10-day remand citing forensic report that said the cables of the bridge were not changed and the flooring with four-layer aluminum sheets could have led to the collapse.
The magistrate court remanded in five-day police custody four of the nine accused, including two OREVA Group supervisors and two subcontractors who repaired the bridge, until November 5.
Nine people have been arrested in the case so far under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) Constructed in 1879, the 233-metre suspension bridge over the Machchu river in Gujarat’s Morbi district had collapsed on Sunday evening that left 135 people dead.