The central government will spare no efforts amid the relief and rescue operations in Gujarat’s Morbi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he addressed the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas event in his home state. “Even as I speak before you people, my heart is with those affected due to the tragedy. Rarely in my life, would I have experienced such pain. On one hand, there is a pain-riddled heart and on the other hand, there is the path to duty,” PM Mod said as he also paid tributes to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in Kevadia on his birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity.
“The Rasthriya Ekta Diwas and Sardar Patel’s anniversary are not just dates. They symbolise our culture. When a tragedy strikes, India unites,” PM Modi underlined. “When Morbi was hit by tragedy, Indians everywhere prayed. Locals helped in rescue operations.”
On Sunday evening, a suspension bridge collapsed in the Morbi district. At least 130 deaths have been reported so far. The overcrowded bridge – which had reopened just last week – came crashing down within moments. Visuals showed people falling in the river below. PM Modi had arrived in his home state earlier in the day for the laying of the foundation stone of the Tata-Airbus aircraft manufacturing plant in Vadodara.
Recue operations continued overnight with more than 200 personnel – from Army, Navy, and the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) – deployed at the site. More than 170 people have been rescued so far.