A bridge in Lecco, Italy, has collapsed, crushing one car below its massive weight, leaving another car dangling from the ledge above. The poor conditions of the bridge were reported to inspectors. However, the bridge collapsed before it could be looked into.
The devastating moment was captured on closed circuit television. The video shows a large truck drive over the bridge and dust falling from weakened cracks that give way just as a white car drives underneath the bridge. In seconds, the 108-ton slab breaks from its supports and falls down on top of the white car, crushing it and the people inside. Another car stops just in time as it drives on the top portion of the bridge, its tires coming to a stop just over the edge, leaving the car dangling above in a precarious manner.
In all, four cars were involved in the bridge collapse in Lecco, Italy, according to Metro.
The horrible imagery provided by the video shows the instant the bridge weakens to the point of collapse. The large truck that finally collapsed the bridge was average in size. It is unknown how many similar trucks passed over the bridge the same day, or week.
Italy’s main roads are overseen by a company called Anas. They survey the roads and bridges to ensure their safety and usability. Workers noticed visible issues with the bridge and reported them to Anas. As a result, the bridge was ordered to be shut down at 2 p.m. However, it remained open.
Anas blames officials in the Lecco province for the tragic incident, claiming if it had been shut down as ordered, no injuries would have occurred.
According to the BBC, Anas ordered the bridge to be closed down at 2:00 pm. However, Lecco province officials refused to do so until all pertinent information regarding the reasons why the bridge should be closed were presented in writing. To present the issues in writing, Anas would be required to complete a formal inspection of the site. Visibly, Anas workers could see that the site was not safe for vehicles to traverse, thus the reporting of the emergency closing. Still, Lecco province officials refused to take the advise from Anas and allowed the bridge to remain open.
Lecco province officials are denying the way Anas reports the events, claiming that none of the reports of the events occurred in that manner.
In the devastating bridge collapse, one person lost a life.
If the bridge would have been closed, as per Anas’ directive, that person could still be alive today.
The collapse occurred nearly three hours after Anas requested the bridge be shut down to traffic.
According to a Washington Post report, nearly 59,000 bridges in the United States are considered to be structurally deficient. That does not report on bridges across the world.
The life that was lost in the Lecco, Italy, bridge collapse could have been saved if one person had taken the advice of Anas and closed the bridge based on precaution alone. However, due to the requested paperwork, a life was lost.
It is unknown whether the event will change the methods in which the Italian provinces respond to reports of damaged bridges or roads, or if this isolated incident was truly due to officials that based their decision on a requirement of paperwork and official inspection, rather than the safety of its citizens.
[Feature Image by natakorn thong-on/Shutterstock]