A bridge that stands 850ft tall, on a normally busy road in northern Italy, collapsed leaving two truck drivers with minor injuries.
The enormous bridge, on the SS330 road near the town of Aulla in the northern tip of Tuscany, collapsed just before 10:30 am local time last April 8.
While the usual scene is that this bridge is always packed with commuters, the road was reported to be virtually empty when it collapsed due to the quarantine Italy is currently under. It was indeed a blessing in disguise. Fortunately, only two people sustained minor injuries after the incident.
Helicopters flew over the place where the bridge is situated, capturing images of the aftermath that showed sections of the bridge that had collapsed into the river Magra and the nearby areas.
According to reports, the bridge was previously managed by provincial authorities before being transferred under the management of ANAS, a company controlled by state-owned railway group Ferrovie Dello Stato.
In a statement, Transport Minister Paola De Micheli said ANAS had been operating the bridge since 2018 and also confirmed that she had requested a detailed report from the company, La Repubblica.
Authorities also said the road affected by today’s incident had previously been repaired in November last year after parts of it were damaged heavily by bad weather, with ANAS saying in a statement there was no ongoing work going at the time of the disaster that happened on Wednesday.
A fire brigade spokesperson reported that the two drivers were taken to hospital with minor injuries, with one delivery driver brought to a hospital in Pisa and the second brought to a hospital in La Spezia.
Emergency services currently remain on-site to ensure members of the public stay away from the bridge, which has since broken into several large concrete slabs.
The injuries were only considered minor in this incident. Thanks to the quarantine currently in place across Italy and several other countries worldwide, that only allowed a limited number of people to travel at that time, this incident only highlighted the poor maintenance of Italy’s roads and highway networks.
A similar bridge collapse cost the lives of 43 people in 2018 when a 260ft stretch of motorway fell into the Polcevera river. This was later blamed on a fatal flaw in the bridge’s construction or wear and tear that had been missed by inspectors.
Fortunately, fewer cars on the road today meant fewer people involved, and there were no fatalities as a result of the incident.
Still, our thoughts are with both of the injured drivers. We all hope for their speedy recovery.