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1,300-foot-long bridge collapses in northern Italy; 1 hurt

The collapsed bridge is seen Wednesday in Massa-Carrara province, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by Riccardo Dalle Luche/EPA-EFE
The collapsed bridge is seen Wednesday in Massa-Carrara province, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by Riccardo Dalle Luche/EPA-EFE

April 8 (UPI) -- A bridge in northern Italy collapsed Wednesday and injured one person, but authorities believe the casualties would have been worse under normal traffic conditions without coronavirus-related restrictions.

The injured person was traveling in a van while crossing the bridge in Aullo when it collapsed. Another driver in a second car was unhurt, authorities said.

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The 1,300-foot-long, 26-foot-high bridge is located on the Liguria-Tuscany border in Massa Carrara province. Several sections of the bridge fell onto the bank of the Magra River below.

"In normal times it's a very busy bridge, but with the coronavirus lockdown this morning when the failure occurred, only the two vans were involved," said one police official.

The hurt driver was hospitalized with a minor chest injury.

Engineers have started an investigation into the collapse. Officials said a crack was found and fixed when the bridge was inspected in November.

"The collapse of the Albiano Magra bridge could have been a tragedy if we had had the traffic of ordinary days," Enrico Rossi, president of the Tuscany Region, said. "This is yet another demonstration that the infrastructure of our territory is now in a state of disrepair."

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