Drill Rig Caused Accident
I blog about transportation news, including major accidents, and I don’t remember hearing about a case like this in recent memory. It was all over the media yesterday that a bridge in Washington State had collapsed into a river. And now we know the cause of this accident: A semi truck, which was hauling a drill rig equipment, was crossing over the bridge when its tall load struck one of the bridge’s overhead girders, according to USA Today. That caused the bridge to collapse.
Two cars that were on the bridge, which spans the Skagit River, plunged into the water, a 50-foot fall, USA Today reported. Three people wound up being sent to the hospital, but their injuries weren’t life threatening. No one was killed, miraculously.
‘The truck got off the bridge before it fell into the river.
As its turns out, the truck’s load hit the bridge’s support girder. That was all it took to trigger the collapse. That bridge was built in 1955, and apparently a bridge constructed today would not have reacted the same way as the one in Washington, according to USA Today.
Modern bridges have what the newspaper called “redundant features … designed to stay intact of a single section is damaged.” The Washington bridge is described as “fracture critical,” meaning that that whole shebang can come down if just one major part “fails,” USA Today said.
The bridge is part of what you might call this nation’s aging infrastructure. It was declared “functionally obsolete” by the National Bridge Inventory, according to USA Today, and was inspected two times last year and underwent some repairs.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be on the scene investigating the accident, and it will likely be weeks before the bridge is fixed.