Arrests made over deadly Indian bridge collapse

STORY: Dozens of people, including many children, were killed in India when a suspension bridge they'd crowded onto to celebrate a holiday collapsed, plunging them into the river.

A local tourist attraction, it reopened only last week after repairs.

Some 400 people bought tickets for the bridge to celebrate the Diwali and Chhath Puja festivals.

CCTV footage shows sightseers taking photos and trying to rock the suspension bridge from side to side on Sunday evening (October 30), shortly before the cables gave way.

Police have arrested at least nine people over the renovation and management of the bridge, in the western state of Gujarat.

Dozens of people have been rescued, but the river's muddy waters are hampering operations.

People could still be trapped under the bridge's mangled remains, officials fear.

"Death was right in front of us. When we were on the bridge, we saw people falling in the river and feared we might also fall. But by God's grace, we were able to hold onto the net and didn't lose our grip, and came out safely. There were seven of us and we came out safely."

Local officials told Reuters Oreva, the company in charge, didn't inform them about reopening the bridge or receive certification that it was fit to do so.

A local politician for the ruling BJP party said Oreva sold too many tickets, leading to overcrowding.

When the municipality maintained it, only 20 people were allowed on at a time.

Oreva, which also makes clocks and e-bikes, did not answer calls or messages from Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the bereaved.

"I have rarely experienced such pain in my life. On one side my heart is filled with pain, and on the other side is the path of work and duty."

Opposition politicians in Gujarat said the disaster exposed the lack of oversight of infrastructure in India.

The bridge, which is four feet wide and 255 yards long, was built in 1877, when India was a British colony.