17 die as Indian bridge collapses: official

At least 17 people were killed and 30 others were feared trapped or drowned after a bridge collapsed in western India, officials said Friday.

The accident happened late Thursday when the bridge under construction over the Chambal river in the state of Rajasthan collapsed.

The site of the accident was around 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Rajasthan city Jodhpur.

"Rescue teams have found 17 bodies trapped between the collapsed bridge and many labourers are feared to have drowned," state home minister Shanti Dhariwal told AFP.

Naval divers were conducting search operation in the river. The army, police and fire personnel were also assisting in the search.

Twelve injured labourers had been hospitalised on Friday.

Local authorities said the bridge was being jointly constructed by South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Gammon India since 2007.

"A police case has been registered against the two companies for negligence," said senior police official Rajiv Dasot.

The government has launched an inquiry into the accident.

Two engineers working on the project have been detained by the police.

Source: AFP

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