South Asia News
Bridge collapses in north-east India - 32 dead, 130 injured
Oct 23, 2011, 10:13 GMT
New Delhi - A wooden bridge weakened by an earthquake collapsed in northeastern India killing 32 people and injuring 130, officials said Sunday.
The bridge in the hilly Bijanbari area of the district of Darjeeling gave way as more than 150 people gathered for political and cultural events on Saturday night.
Many people plummeted nearly 40 metres into the Rangeet Khola river. About 60 people were rescued by locals and troops, while some of the others swam to safety.
'Around 20 people died on the scene. The others succumbed to injuries in the hospitals,' district police chief Anand Kumar said. The victims included six children.
As the search continued downstream on Sunday, police officer Amit Javalgi said the toll could rise as some of the injured were listed as being in serious condition.
Local legislator Harka Bahadur Giri said the bridge cables had snapped. Built in the 1940s, the bridge was weakened by an earthquake in September.
'A cultural programme was being held on one side of the bridge while a meeting was being held on the other. Too many people were standing on the bridge when it collapsed,' Giri told the IANS news agency.