AS MANY as 55 of the 135 victims of the Jhoolto Pul suspension bridge collapse in Morbi town are children and 100 of them belonged to Morbi district alone, official data revealed.
According to the final list of victims complied by the district administration, 39 boys and 16 girls were among those killed in the bridge collapse on Sunday. The youngest of them was an 18-month-old boy from Morbi town and the eldest was 17 years old. Eight of the deceased were 18 years old.
The victims also include three elders —two women who were aged 62 and 65, and a 62-year-old man. The 65-year-old woman from Dhrol taluka in Jamnagar district was the eldest victim. In all, 45 men and 35 women died in the accident. Together with children, total 84 of the victims were males and 51 females.
Data revealed that 77 victims were in the age group of 18-59 even as age of two victims was not mentioned against their names.
Also, 66, or about half of the victims, were from Morbi town alone and 44 others from Morbi rural district.
Thus, Morbi alone lost 100 lives to one of the worst disaster in the district. Overall, 13 victims belonged to Rajkot district, 10 to Jamnagar, four to Kutch, two each to Surendranagar, Devbhumi Dwarka and Ahmedabad and one to Junagadh.
The lone victim from outside Gujarat was 16-year-old boy from Kolkata in West Bengal.
As per the 2011 Census, Morbi town had a population of 1.94 lakh.
Some families have lost up to seven members to the tragedy which visited the town on October 30 in the bridge collapse.
After one of the steel cables of the bridge snapped, the deck of the cable-stayed bridge and more than 300 people who were on it plunged into the river at around 6:40 pm on Sunday. The accident killed 135 while around 280 others were rescued.
The bridge collapsed just five days after Jaysukh Patel, managing director of Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (AMPL), the flagship company of Oreva Group, threw it open to tourists on October 26, the Gujarati New Year day.
The bridge belonged to Morbi municipality but the civic body had handed over operations and maintenance to AMPL through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in March this year. Patel had inaugurated the bridge after AMPL repaired and undertook maintenance of the historic bridge at the cost of Rs2 crores from March onwards.
The bridge was constructed by Vaghji Thakor, the then ruler of erstwhile princely state of Morbi to connect Durbagadh, or the court of the ruler on the western bank of Machhu to the Nazarbaug Palace on the eastern bank. However, the bridge, which was 765 feet long and four feet wide was open to common public also.