How little Arshad held on to Priyanka’s fingers when the bridge collapsed in Morbi

Neighbours, close in life, found dead together in the Morbi tragedy.

Image courtesy: Nirmal Harindran / The Indian Express

Days after a suspension bridge crashed into the Machchhu river in Morbi, killing 135 people, 34 of them children, heartrending details are still emerging of the tragedy. One such story is of two children, Priyanka Ghogha and Arshad Makwana, neighbors in the Vaijapur area of Morbi town, who lived and died together.  

According to an Indian Express report, the Makwanas and Ghoghas have been neighbors and “family friends” for the last three decades. From outings to shopping, they did everything together. Seven-year-old Arshad, son of Asifbhai Makwana, and Priyanka, the 19-year old daughter of Prabhubhai Ghogha, 55 died in the Morbi bridge collapse. According to Vikram, Prabhubai’s son “My sister Priyanka was very fond of little Arshad. When their bodies were found, Priyanka was found gripping Arhsad’s index finger.” HIs mother had accompanied Priyanka and Arshad but had miraculously escaped. 

Asifbhai Makwana lost his wife Shahbano, 29, and mother Mumtazben, 62, besides son Arshad, in the tragedy.

The two families, united in their grief, say they now want the administration and Oreva, the private company that was in charge of the operations and maintenance of the bridge, to answer for the loss. 

The previous night, they had got the compensation cheques but their questions remained unanswered. 

The Indian Express quotes Asif Bhai saying  “When the bridge was being managed by the Morbi municipality, 50 people would be allowed on the bridge and the entry and exits would be controlled. How could they give this private company the freedom to let in as many people as they wanted? Moreover, for 100 years, the wooden planks on the bridge never gave away but on the fifth day of the opening of this revamped bridge, this happens – what does this mean?” 

Vikram says, “After the accident, the rescue operations were all done by the locals and some fishermen who brought their boats. By the time the administration arrived, a lot of people were dead. Anyway, then the ministers arrived and the administration got busy making arrangements for them,” 

His father Prabhubhai and Asifbhai’s father Habibbhai had gone to the government Hospital after they were asked to be present during the Prime Minister’s visit the next day



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