Morbi Bridge Tragedy: Oreva Group MD Surrenders Before Court


New Delhi: The Managing Director of the Oreva group — the firm hired for the maintenance and repair of the bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi which collapsed in October, killing 135 people — surrendered at a local court today.

A warrant for his arrest was out last week after he was named prime accused in the case. Patel has been missing since the incident and had filed an appeal for bail to evade arrest.

Oreva Group, makers of wall clocks under the Ajanta brand, was given the contract for the renovation, operation, and maintenance of the British-era suspension bridge over the Machchhu River. On October 30, four days after it reopened, the bridge collapsed after the cables broke. The police said around 300 people were on the bridge at the time.

A special investigation team formed by the state government has cited multiple lapses on part of the firm.

Forensic tests have revealed that rusty cables, broken anchor pins, and loose bolts were not replaced during the renovation. The report from the Forensic Science Laboratory also said the group did not hire any expert agency to assess the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before opening it to the public.

During a hearing in court last week, the company said it maintained the cable-stayed structure as part of “philanthropic activities” and not as a “commercial venture”.

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