Indian News

Helpless Wait For Missing Couple At Gujarat Hospital Sprucing Up For PM

Vinod Dapat is looking for his brother-in-law’s young daughter and her fiance

Morbi, Gujarat:

As a hospital in Gujarat’s Morbi was given a last-minute spruce-up ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the site, a man frantically searched for a missing couple past midnight, but complained that everyone was preoccupied with the mega visit.

Vinod Dapat said he had looked everywhere for his brother-in-law’s young daughter and her fiancé, who had gone to the century-old “hanging bridge” for a Sunday outing.

“It has been more than 24 hours, I have gone to the bridge site, I have searched high and low in the hospital, but no one is helping,” he told NDTV as he continued his vigil late into the night.

Vinod’s niece Manisha had called her family around 4 pm on Sunday and had told them that she was heading to the bridge.

That was the last they heard from her.

Around 6.31 pm, the bridge collapsed, killing 131 people and devastating scores of families.

“Since then, their phone is switched off and we haven’t heard anything from either of them,” Vinod said.

“I have been here since yesterday. I came from Jamnagar. I went to the site and saw many bodies being recovered from the river. But there is no sign of them.”

His hope fading, Vinod said it was frustrating to wait for news, any news on the missing couple. “Even if someone could tell me about their bodies. But no one is telling us anything. The hospital is busy painting their walls for the PM. This is the state of our country,” he said, alleging that the administration was completely focused on the visit.

The newly renovated bridge, reopened on October 26, snapped under the weight of close to 500 people on Sunday evening.

Nine people, including officials of the company hired to renovate the bridge, have been arrested. Oreva, a watchmaker, allegedly violated the conditions of the contract by opening the bridge to the public ahead of schedule. It also outsourced the bridge repair to a smaller company.

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