Girl dies, sev­eral feared miss­ing in French sus­pen­sion bridge col­lapse

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Mire­poix-sur-Tarn, France - A 15 year old girl was killed af­ter a sus­pen­sion bridge over a river in south­west France col­lapsed on Mon­day, caus­ing a car, a truck and pos­si­bly a third ve­hi­cle to plunge into the wa­ter, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said.

Four peo­ple were res­cued but sev­eral oth­ers were feared miss­ing af­ter the col­lapse of the bridge be­tween Mire­poix-surTarn and Bessieres, 30km north of Toulouse, said fire ser­vice and lo­cal se­cu­rity chief Eti­enne Guyot.

The cen­tral part of the 155m bridge, mea­sur­ing 6.5m wide, was sub­merged by the fast-flow­ing Tarn river.

A car bon­net could be seen stick­ing out of the wa­ter as he­li­copters cir­cled over­head and emer­gency work­ers in in­flat­able boats searched for sur­vivors.

Over 60 emer­gency ser­vice mem­bers, in­clud­ing divers, were tak­ing part in the res­cue op­er­a­tion, Guyot said, adding there were ‘prob­a­bly sev­eral miss­ing’.

Among those feared miss­ing were the truck driver and the driver of a po­ten­tial third ve­hi­cle,

Guyot said, adding that wit­nesses had re­ported see­ing a van on the bridge. The dead girl was trav­el­ling by car across the bridge with her mother when it col­lapsed. Her body was re­trieved from the river, which is 100m wide and over 20m deep at the level of the bridge.

The girl’s mother was pulled alive from the sunken car by by­standers, some of whom were in­jured in the res­cue at­tempt.

Two res­cue work­ers were also se­ri­ously hurt, ac­cord­ing to the re­gion's se­cu­rity de­part­ment.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cause of the ac­ci­dent was un­der­way. The bridge, dated to 1931, had a load limit of 19 tonnes and was ‘reg­u­larly checked’, Guyot said.

(AFP)

Res­cuers near the sus­pen­sion bridge which col­lapsed in Mire­poix-surTarn, near Toulouse, south­west France on Mon­day

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