Company invokes ‘God’s hand’ in Morbi Bridge collapse

Morbi (Gujarat): One of the accused managers of the Oreva Company responsible to renovate the Morbi Brdige said that the mishap was an “Act of God.”

“One of the two managers of Oreva company (that have been arrested) told the court that it is an ‘Act of God’,” said Additional Public Prosecutor, Advocate HS Panchal.

The Public Prosecutor also revealed that the cable of the hanging bridge were “rusting away”. He said the bridge was thrown open for the public in an risky condition.

“In the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, the Investigating Officer (IO) said that the cable (of bridge) was rusting away. The Investigating Officer says that only flooring of the bridge was done and the cables were not changed, oiling-greasing also wasn’t done,” Advocate HS Panchal said.

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Adding that Prima facie, FSL officer says that it was an old cable.

Panchal further informed, “Out of the 4 people who were sent to Police custody, two are managers at Oreva Co and two others did fabrication work for the bridge. The five others who were sent to judicial custody are security personnel and ticket vendors.”

“In the report, the Investigating Officer (IO) stated that the tender process did not take place and contract was directly allotted,” Advocate Panchal further said.

Out of nine persons arrested pertaining to the October 30 collapse of the century-old suspension bridge, killing 135 people, Gujarat’s Morbi Court on Wednesday has sent four people to police custody and the remaining five into judicial custody till November 5.

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Of the four persons in police custody, two are managers of the Oreva company, which threw the bridge open for visitors after seven months of maintenance works, and the other two are fabrication work contractor’s people.

Speaking on the ongoing investigation, Rahul Tripathi, SP Morbi, said, “We are questioning all the four accused in our custody and we are trying to establish the liability of the different kinds of lapses in the bridge renovation. We are doing a thorough investigation and if anyone’s role comes forward, he or she will be booked and arrested.”

He added further, “Yes, We have given a scientific report to the court but details of the same can’t be shared with you at this stage as this will hamper our investigation.”

The Gujarat Police has filed a First Information Report under IPC sections 304 and 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the bridge collapse tragedy.

(With inputs of ANI)

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