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2 workers killed as bridge girder falls from freeway under construction in Japan

July 6 (UPI) -- Two Japanese construction workers died on Thursday when a bridge girder slipped off a raised platform at a site in Shizuoka Prefecture, officials said.

The two men who died were in their 50s and six people sustained non-life-threatening injuries after the more than 200-foot steel frame, which weighs more than 150 tons, slipped from a height of about 30 feet, police said

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The incident happened before dawn at a site where about 30 workers were building a multi-level freeway bypass.

Workers were moving the steel frame into a different position when the incident occurred, according to the Shizuoka National Highway Office.

The police said they are investigating the incident and that professional negligence charges could be issued to those found responsible. Officials said the raised section of the freeway was slated to open by the spring of 2026.

At the time of the accident, around 20 workers and 10 security personnel were involved in installing the steel girder on piers. The girder is expected to play a critical role in the new bridge's foundation.

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No vehicles on the ground appeared to be affected by the collapse.

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