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Two senior officials arrested after under-construction bridge collapses killing 40 in India

Police have arrested two senior officials from contractors Hyundai and Gammon India have been arrested following the collapse of an under-construction bridge over the Chambal river near Kota in Rajasthan on Christmas Eve.

Several labourers were working on the bridge over the Chambal river at Dabi-Nayagaon in the state of Rajasthan, when the accident happened on 24 December. According to local police. Rescuers have recovered 12 bodies but fear 30 other people still missing could be dead.

The bridge was being built by a joint venture between Hyundai and Gammon India

The Press Trust of India has reported that JY Hue, chief project manager of Hyundai Engineering and construction and R Chatopadhyay, deputy project manager of Gammon India have appeared before a local court and are being held on remand for five days.

Dozens of labourers fell into the water late Thursday when the bridge on which they were working gave way over the Chambal river on the outskirts of the city of Kota in Rajasthan state.

“At least 45 people are presumed to have died in the bridge collapse,” senior police official Rajeev Dasot told the Associated Free Press, raising the estimated death toll from 17.

Two teams of naval divers were helping retrieve bodies from the deep waters and authorities were considering demolishing the remaining portion of the structure.

Neither contractors have made a statement on the accident.

India’s national highway authority and the state government have launched an inquiry into the accident.

The Press Trust of India quoted federal junior transport minister Mahadeo Singh Khandela as saying construction of the bridge was almost a year behind schedule.

Police inspector general Rajeev Dasot said that workers are engaged in clearing debris from the site near Kota, around 170 miles west of Jaipur - the state capital.

It could take another three days to clear all the debris from the site.

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