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Russian Ship Hits South Korean Bridge

Friday, March 8, 2019

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Late last month, a Russian captain reportedly ran a ship into the 500 billion-pound (roughly $654.6 billion) Gwangan Bridge, located in Busan, South Korea, the country’s second longest bridge. No injuries were reported, though, according to The Korea Times, police have since issued an arrest warrant for the captain.

When it crashed into the bridge, the 5,998-ton vessel Seagrand, carrying 1,415 tons of steel coils, tore a 5-meter (roughly 16-foot) hole in the structure. According to The Moscow Times, sections of the bridge were closed down for precautionary reasons.

Gwangan Bridge Project

The Gwangan Bridge, also known as the Gwangandaegyo Bridge, runs 7.4 kilometers (roughly 4.59 miles), connecting Haeundae-gu to Suyeong-gu. Construction on the suspension bridge commenced in 1994 and completed in 2002, opening temporarily later that year for the 2002 Asian Games. However, the structure was not officially opened until early 2003.

According to Structurae, the bridge has a 24-meter-wide deck, a 500-meter-long main span and is 900 meters long overall. The Warren-type deck truss weighs 23,708 tons, and each cable on the bridge consists of 37 strands. According to the Official Korea Tourism Organization, the Gwangan Bridge, also equipped with thousands of LED lights for a lighting exhibition that changes with the seasons, is the longest bi-level bridge over the ocean in Korea.

The impact occurred on the lower portion of one of the bridge’s bi-level.

Impact Incident

Popular Mechanics reports that the ship was headed for Vladivostok, Russia, at the time of the incident. The captain of the vessel was allegedly intoxicated at the time, though it remains unclear if he was steering the vessel when the accident occurred.

According to the Daily Mail, the captain told officers that there was “no collision” and “no problem” after the vessel struck a moored yacht, which occurred before the bridge impact. The coast guard asked if the captain needed tug boats to get out of the harbor, which the captain declined, except before accepting one tugboat. Before assistance could arrive, the vessel once again headed out to sea.

Officials called for the ship to stop its engine as it attempted to turn and leave the area. The captain—who reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.086 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.03 percent—was later apprehended by the coast guard. (Drinking alcohol is allowed on board, as long as the person drinking is not steering the vessel.)

The vessel originally arrived on the morning of Feb. 27 to deliver 1,495 tons of iron pipes. Superficial damage to the lower level of the two-tiered structure can be seen in photographs.


Tagged categories: Accidents; AS; Asia Pacific; Bridges; Health and safety; Infrastructure; Program/Project Management

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (3/8/2019, 11:45 AM)

What's Russian for "hold my beer" and "watch this"?

Comment from peter gibson, (3/9/2019, 10:49 AM)

in Russian its called ....have a nice day!

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