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Asia-pacific

Dozens die after bridge collapses at Indian festival

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-23

At least 32 people were killed Sunday when a bridge collapsed in Bijanbari in the Indian state of West Bengal during an event organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha party. Local officials said the final death toll could be much higher.

AFP- A bridge packed with festival crowds collapsed in northeast India killing at least 32 people, an official said Sunday, as rescue divers searched for more bodies.

Scores of people fell into a fast-flowing river about 20 miles (30 kilometres) from the hill town of Darjeeling when the walkway broke apart on Saturday night at an event organised by the local Gorkha Janmukti Morcha party.

A steel cable of the bridge snapped as crowds clamoured for a view of speeches and a cultural programme during the five-day festival in Bijanbari town in the state of West Bengal.

"The toll in the collapse has risen to 32. But figures may go up as we have reports that some people are still missing," Darjeeling district magistrate Soumitra Mohan said.

Some local media reports said the bridge had been weakened by an earthquake last month.
 

Date created : 2011-10-23

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