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Officials Probe SC Bridge Failure

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Investigators in South Carolina were still puzzling Thursday (May 1) over the collapse of a 20-foot section of bridge that derailed railroad cars passing below it.

No injuries were reported in the incident about 7 p.m. Monday (April 28), although one intrepid motorist stomped  the accelerator of his pickup truck and safely leaped the gap in the deck of the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge near Moncks Corner, authorities said. The driver was not identified.

Moncks Corner SC bridge collapse
Photos via

No injuries were reported when the bridge collapsed without warning onto a train.

The failure dropped the concrete span on top of a CSX Railroad train that was on the tracks below. The train had two locomotives and 72 railcars. The five cars that derailed were empty.

The collapse also took out a 12-14-inch water main, leaving between 40 and 50 area homes without water, Berkeley County Rescue Squad spokesman Bill Salisbury told WNEM-TV, the local CBS affiliate.

Less than 24 hours after the collapse, CSX had removed the crushed railcars and was cleaning up still-threatening pieces of bridge, the state Department of Transportation had posted a 22-mile detour around the site, and Gov. Nikki Haley had signed an Emergency Declaration to expedite federal funding for a $2 million replacement project.

Moncks Corner SC bridge collapse

A quick-thinking driver stepped on the gas when the 20-foot segment dropped away, leaping the breech in his pickup truck, authorities said. The driver was not identified.

But the cause of the mess remained elusive.

Built in 1936 and rebuilt and widened in 1975, the bridge has now been declared a total loss.

The bridge was last inspected last fall and found to be in fair-to-satisfactory condition, according to The bridge, also known as the Cordesville overpass, carries about 6,200 vehicles a day.

Moncks Corner SC bridge collapse

The collapse derailed several empty cars of a 72-car CSX train passing below.

Initial reports speculated that the train might have struck the overpass, but officials said the investigation had not yet ruled anything in or out.

Meanwhile, the replacement will take about six months, adding 22 miles a day to the commute of thousands of Palmetto State motorists, authoriites said.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Concrete; Inspection; Rail; Roads/Highways

Comment from Jim Johnson, (5/2/2014, 12:03 PM)

I want to know more about the guy who leaped the gap. He has incredible reflexes! Unless you have actually witnessed it you cannot believe how fast such things fall.

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