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Construction Bridge Falls on Highway

Friday, October 16, 2015

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At least two people are dead and more than 20 others are injured after a temporary bridge near a Johannesburg, South Africa, construction site collapsed onto a highway.

The collapse occurred Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 14) on the city’s busiest highway, according to multiple media reports.

Under Development

According to a report by the Associated Press, the bridge was a support structure in the construction of a pedestrian and cycling bridge project that is being built over the M1 highway. The project, which is being managed by contractor Murray & Roberts, is designed to connect an affluent neighborhood on one side of the highway with a poor neighborhood on the other, the AP reported.

The construction company, which is based in South Africa according to its website, issued a statement to the media following the collapse.

“Murray & Roberts can confirm that this afternoon, a support structure that was erected to enable the construction of a pedestrian bridge...collapsed,” the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

“The exact cause of the incident is not known at this time,” the statement continued. “All of our incident response procedures have been initiated, our support services have been mobilized and relevant authorities have been advised.”

According to the company’s website, Murray & Roberts has been an engineering and construction services company for 110 years. The company has a global reach, including offices in the U.S., and offers “engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance services in the oil & gas, underground mining, power and water as well as the civil infrastructure and building markets,” its website notes.

Collapse Aftermath

The wreckage of the red-colored structure was scattered across the highway near a busy off-ramp that takes travelers into the South African city’s financial district, which snarled rush-hour traffic, Reuters reported.

South African media group eNCA said in early reports that vehicles, including a taxi, were caught in the wreckage. Later, the newsgroup reported that the city’s mayor had called for those responsible to be held accountable as officials from the country’s labor department were expected to investigate the cause of the collapse.

“Corrective action will be taken against those who are responsible for this,” Mayor Parks Tau reportedly said. “We must not pre-empt what happened. We will await investigation.”

BBC reported Thursday (Oct. 15) morning that the highway had reopened.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fatalities; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Roads/Highways

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