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Darjeeling bridge collapse toll rises to 32

By The Assam Tribune

Darjeeling, Oct 23 (IANS): With the recovery of five more bodies, the death toll in the bridge collapse in this north Bengal district has shot up to 32, besides leaving 132 injured, a district official said on Sunday.

"The death count is now 32, while 132 are wounded," Darjeeling District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan told IANS. At least six children were among the casualties.

The overburdened British-era wooden suspension bridge on Little Rangeet river in Bijonbari - headquarters of the Darjeeling Pulbazar development block - gave way Saturday evening as over 200 people stood on it to listen to speeches of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders like Bimal Gurung in the area, 30 km from Dargeeling town.

The bridge fell along with those on it 70 feet down into a gorge and the river. Around 50-60 people have been rescued by the locals, army, fire brigade personnel and the police, said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri. Rescue operations, which were halted on Saturday night, were resumed on Sunday morning.

"A cultural programme was being held on one side of the bridge while a meeting was being held on the other. Too many people were standing on it when it collapsed and they fell into the river below," Giri said.

The injured have been admitted in Bijonbari and Darjeeling hospitals.

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Darjeeling bridge collapse toll rises to 32

Darjeeling, Oct 23 (IANS): With the recovery of five more bodies, the death toll in the bridge collapse in this north Bengal district has shot up to 32, besides leaving 132 injured, a district official said on Sunday.

"The death count is now 32, while 132 are wounded," Darjeeling District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan told IANS. At least six children were among the casualties.

The overburdened British-era wooden suspension bridge on Little Rangeet river in Bijonbari - headquarters of the Darjeeling Pulbazar development block - gave way Saturday evening as over 200 people stood on it to listen to speeches of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders like Bimal Gurung in the area, 30 km from Dargeeling town.

The bridge fell along with those on it 70 feet down into a gorge and the river. Around 50-60 people have been rescued by the locals, army, fire brigade personnel and the police, said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri. Rescue operations, which were halted on Saturday night, were resumed on Sunday morning.

"A cultural programme was being held on one side of the bridge while a meeting was being held on the other. Too many people were standing on it when it collapsed and they fell into the river below," Giri said.

The injured have been admitted in Bijonbari and Darjeeling hospitals.