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Weak support frame may have caused bridge to collapse

The collapse of the bridge near Kurimany, Prešov Region, which resulted in the deaths of four construction workers and injuries of another 11, may have been caused by a weak supporting frame, according to the initial findings of experts who are investigating the accident, the Sme daily reported on November 5.

The collapse of the bridge near Kurimany, Prešov Region, which resulted in the deaths of four construction workers and injuries of another 11, may have been caused by a weak supporting frame, according to the initial findings of experts who are investigating the accident, the Sme daily reported on November 5.

“Based on the latest information and the inspection of the construction which we conducted today [i.e. on Saturday, November 3 – ed. note] it can be said that the subsoil and concrete were all right,” said Peter Paulík from the Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava, as quoted by Sme.

He added that the whole construction was unsuitable and too slender for this type of bridge, as this bridge was wider and taller than most bridges built with this particular style of supporting frame.

Two independent teams are investigating the accident. Experts will examine the remains of the bridge frame as soon as the debris is removed from the site. Subsequently they will simulate the collapse on a computer. The investigators should receive the necessary documentation in two weeks, while the results of the investigation could be revealed in one month, Sme wrote.

The bridge near Kurimany fell on November 2, shortly after 14:00. The collapse resulted in the deaths of four construction workers, while another 11 were transported to hospitals in Poprad, Levoča, Spišská Nová Ves and Košice. Three people survived the fall without any injuries, the SITA newswire reported.

Prime Minister Robert Fico said after the tragedy that he will insist on a proper and detailed investigation of the accident. The site was also visited by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská and State Secretary of the Transport Ministry Andrej Holák. The ministers praised the rescue crews, paramedics and doctors from local hospitals for their quick and professional response.

“Thanks to all emergency system units working excellently, many lives were saved,” said Zvolenská, as quoted by the TASR newswire, after visiting the injured workers in hospital. “The first ambulance arrived at the scene ten minutes after they received the call and the coordination of the transport of the injured was perfect as well.”

The bridge is part of the cross-country D1 highway section between Jánovce and Jabolonov. Two construction companies, Váhostav-SK and Bögl a Krýsl, are working on the project. After the collapse several media outlets revealed that the latter firm is facing prosecution in the Czech Republic for the collapse of a bridge in the town of Studénka, which resulted in the deaths of eight people, SITA wrote.

Source: Sme, SITA, TASR

For more information about this story please see: Bridge collapse near Levoča claimed two lives

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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