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2 drivers rescued after wooden bridge collapses in southern Norway

Both motorists doing fine; no other cars involved

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Two drivers in southern Norway had to be rescued Monday after the wooden bridge they were traveling across collapsed, sending them plunging into the river below.

The accident occurred shortly after 7:30 a.m. local time in Oyer Municipality, north of Lillehammer, where the the 485-foot Tretten Bridge buckled underneath a moving car and truck.

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Oyer Mayor Jon Halvor Midtmageli said the bridge, which opened in 2018, was "completely destroyed."

No other vehicles were believed to be on the bridge at the time of the accident, which shut down the E6, Norway's main north-south highway.

Authorities are unable to say when the road would reopen.

Rescue crews used a helicopter to pluck the truck driver from the bridge, but he did not suffer any apparent injuries.

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The driver of the car was "taken care of by the health service," said a statement by Innlandet police, according to Life In Norway.

Both motorists were later said to be shaken but in good condition.

"Everything has fallen down," Midtmageli said. "It is completely catastrophic, completely unreal. It is also a fairly new bridge."

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The two-lane bridge had a pedestrian sidewalk that local children used on their daily walk to school.

"This bridge is used by children walking across on their way to school. That was the first thing I thought, that this is incredible luck. Today is the first day of school. It could have gone horribly wrong," Midtmageli said, according to The Local News Outlet.

A similar collapse involving a glulam bridge occurred in Sjoa in 2016.

Glulam bridges are made from bonded woods pressed together with adhesives.

The bridge's designers were said to be working with authorities from Norconsult and the National Road Administration to determine the cause.

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