Two van drivers escaped serious injury when a bridge over a river in northern Italy collapsed on Wednesday.
The provincial road would normally have been busy but there was little traffic when the bridge fell, because of the lockdown measures.
Images from the scene show a red courier vehicle apparently still upright on the collapsed road.
The driver was hit by falling masonry and airlifted to hospital, but his injuries were described as minor.
Il ponte di albiano magra ( Massa Carrara ) si è accartocciato su se stesso …— Amin1908???? (@AMIN1908) April 8, 2020
al momento non sembrano esserci vittime pic.twitter.com/GLHouKHiK3
The driver of a second van was able to clamber out of his vehicle unscathed but suffering from shock, reports said. Firefighters were checking the river in case anyone else was involved.
The condition of Italy’s road bridges has come under close scrutiny ever since 43 people died in the collapse of the giant Morandi bridge in Genoa in August 2018.
UOMINI.#MassaCarrara pic.twitter.com/wCSsNAVpor— HACKER NEWS (@hackernewreal) April 8, 2020
Cars fell 45m (148ft) as a 200m stretch of the structure serving the busy A10 motorway collapsed. Decaying steel rods suspending the bridge were blamed for the disaster. The bridge was operated by Autostrade per l’Italia, a subsidiary of the Atlantia company.
This latest bridge collapse took place 100km further east. The bridge links the regions of Liguria and Tuscany. Italian officials said the structure over the River Magra was some 400m in length and around 7-8m in height.
+++Aulla (Massa Carrara), crolla #ponte sul fiume #Magra. Le immagini della #Poliziastradale sul posto per viabilità. Attualmente chiusa la SS62 pic.twitter.com/2drSJVxmW4— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) April 8, 2020
Residents in Caprigliola, the closest town to the bridge, said they heard a loud bang at around 10:20 local time (08:20 GMT) on Wednesday morning, followed by the sound of tumbling masonry.
It soon emerged that motorists had reported a crack in the bridge after a period of bad weather last November.
The bridge was repaired and then inspected by technicians before being given the all clear. It had previously been run by the local authority in Massa Carrara, the province on the Tuscany side, but then placed under the control of Anas, a firm run by state-owned railway group Ferrovie dello Stato.
“It’s a sheer stroke of luck that a collapse hasn’t turned into a tragedy – because of a lack of traffic caused by the health emergency crisis,” said Michele de Pascale, head of the Italian provinces union UPI.
He warned that Italy’s provinces had been saying for some time that the country’s infrastructure was crying out for urgent maintenance.
A local mayor, Roberto Valettini, said he had sent three letters to the bridge operator warning about the bridge. [BBC]
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It does make us recall of I 35 bridge that was collapsed. We need Money for people of USA and Corona is teaching all of us that if we were war with IRAN which will come sooner than later we would have made MOB 1000 of them so quickly but when comes to people of North America we have to borrow Doctors and nurses from Canada also we have shortages of 10 Million Nurses and Doctors to fully eradicate Disease X or world will
go to halt sooner than later , we need international corporations and love harmony peace and creations of world government that make sure every ones need will never forgotten . The world Government that i am talking is different with what we will witnessing, I am looking for World Government of God on earth and true ones only. Any New World Order will come and go and will be crashed by the will of people of world. Parliament of men that no one has veto power all nations are equal and peace and tranquility for next 500,000 year to come. UN must be upgrade
to world government of people for people by the people. UN brought China as human rights council it is so funny indeed?
Minnesota I-35 Bridge Collapse Anniversary: How Safe Are Drivers Now?
Aug. 1, 2007: 13 people killed when Minnesota freeway bridge collapses
Aug. 1, 2012 — — Five years ago today more than 100 cars were traveling over a bridge on I-35W during a Minneapolis rush hour when it suddenly collapsed, dropping cars from the interstate into the 15-foot-deep Mississippi River below, trapping many passengers inside. Before they could escape or emergency help arrived, 13 people died and another 145 were injured one of the worst bridge disasters in U.S. history.
A formal investigation took more than a year, but once it was finished the National Transportation Safety Board said the cause of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge tragedy was a simple design flaw in the bridge’s gusset plates — metal plates that help connect one steel beam to another. At that time, NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker said the board’s investigation would “provide a roadmap for improvements to prevent future tragedies.”
But five years after the collapse, Andrew Hermann, the president of the American Society of Engineers, told ABC News that while the nation has an aggressive bridge inspection program, the government is still not spending enough money on updating and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure.
“Congress basically lacks the courage to do what is needed to raise the funds,” he said. “Bridges require maintenance, and maintenance and rehabilitation require funding… Politicians like to show up and cut a ribbon on a brand new bridge, but they don’t like to show up and applaud a new paint job that may increase the life of a bridge.”
At the time of the Minnesota bridge collapse, ABC News reported that the bridge had already been classified as “structurally deficient,” meaning that while it was not deemed unsafe enough to close, it did require maintenance.
According to the Department of Transportation, bridges can be put on waiting lists for “replacement or rehabilitation” if they are classified as structurally deficient or “functionally obsolete;” the latter meaning the bridge was built prior to modern standards but was not necessarily unsafe. A common example of a functionally obsolete bridge is one with road lanes that are too narrow.
When the Minnesota bridge collapsed in 2007, approximately 25.4 percent of the nearly 600,000 bridges in the U.S. were considered either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the DOT. By 2011, the number dipped to 23.8 percent, still leaving nearly 150,000 bridges in the same categories.