Two dead and two injured in a bridge accident in the Netherlands

Two dead and two injured in a bridge accident in the Netherlands

Lochem (Netherlands) (AFP) – At least two people were killed on Wednesday and two others were injured when part of a bridge under construction collapsed on workers in the Netherlands, Dutch officials said.

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        Part of the bridge was being lifted into place in Lochem, east of the country, when the cables holding it in place broke, causing it to fall to the ground.

An Agence France-Presse correspondent at the scene said that a mobile command unit had been formed that included police and engineers, and fire brigades and drones were flying overhead.

Authorities recovered the second body from the accident site late Wednesday afternoon after several hours, news agency ANP said.

Local mayor Sebastian van t Erf said the entire community was shocked by the incident.

“We have been planning this road for 20 years. We have been working on developing the construction for five years. In just one day, everything collapsed, killing two people and injuring two others,” he told AFP.

The city mayor said that there is currently no indication of the cause of the accident and that investigations are ongoing.

“My first priority is to stand with the people affected by this horrific incident,” he said.

A reporter for local newspaper De Stentor at the scene said workers were raising the arches when the accident occurred.

The reporter said: “Suddenly there was a huge explosion.”

“The whole arch started to sway. Then it all fell. We saw two construction workers fall.”

“big shock”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his condolences to the relatives of those killed after what he called “tragic reports of a serious accident.”

Dozens of people were watching the moment the bridge piece was put in place, and they were receiving psychological treatment.

Max Schorink, project manager for Gelderland County, where the construction site is located, said he was “extremely shocked” after seeing the accident with his own eyes.

“I am very concerned for my colleagues on the site,” Schorink told De Stentor newspaper.

Schorink said the conditions surrounding the site were sound.

But he added: “Let’s not speculate why.

“The concern now is for the employees affected by this incident. It is tragic enough.”

The regional safety authority said the two wounded were taken to hospital but are expected to survive.

“What happened was that they were trying to raise the bridge. You could see the cables. The bridge started to buckle. This part of the bridge fell to the ground,” Andrej Melinek of the safety authority told public broadcaster NOS.

Such industrial accidents are rare in the Netherlands, which has strict building codes and centuries of experience in building canals, dams and bridges.

In 2015, two large cranes working on a bridge fell onto nearby homes and shops in the western town of Alphen aan den Rijn, but miraculously no one was hurt.

The cranes, operating from barges, were restoring the Queen Juliana Bridge, a canal bridge dating back to the 1950s, when the first machine broke down.


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