Lockdown May Have Prevented a Bridge-Collapse Tragedy

Road was empty due to northern Italy lockdown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2020 12:10 PM CDT
This Bridge Collapsed. Drivers on It Survived
Smoke and dirt rise after a bridge collapsed on a river bed, in Aulla, between the regions of Tuscany and Liguria, northern Italy, Wednesday, April 8, 2020.   (Tano Pecoraro/LaPresse via AP)

The strict lockdown in northern Italy may have saved lives in more ways than one. A bridge collapsed Wednesday morning, but there was almost no traffic on the normally busy road in Aulla, which sits halfway between Genoa and Florence, reports Reuters. Authorities believe there were only two drivers on the 850-foot-long bridge some 25 feet over the river Marga when it collapsed, the BBC reports. One driver was treated for minor injuries and a second one climbed out of his vehicle in shock but unhurt.

Officials say drivers reported a crack in the bridge months ago but the bridge was repaired, inspected, and approved for use. "It's a sheer stroke of luck that a collapse hasn't turned into a tragedy—because of a lack of traffic caused by the coronavirus emergency," said Michele de Pascale head, of the Union of Italian provinces. (In 2018, 43 people were killed when a bridge in Genoa collapsed.)

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