Three British workmen were killed and ten injured when a motorway bridge they were building collapsed suddenly on Tuesday (24 Oct).
GV Firemen & rescue workers searching debris (3 shots)
GV & SV Rescue workers with oxyacetylene torches cutting wreckage
GV People searching wreckage (3 shots)
GV Collapsed section (2 shots)
GV Disaster scene
Initials SGM/0341 SGM/0350
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Background: Three British workmen were killed and ten injured when a motorway bridge they were building collapsed suddenly on Tuesday (24 Oct). But nearly a hundred other workmen escaped -- because they were having their lunch when the accident happened.
The bridge was being built over a river to carry a relief road from the city of Reading to a motorway leading to London -- 35 miles (56 kilometres) away. Work had started on pouring concrete into a wooden mould supported by scaffolding. Suddenly the bridge started to quiver, and some of the men working on it managed to jump clear. They shouted a warning, but their voices were drowned by the noise of the machinery.
The 13 dead and injured men were trapped in the wreckage. The bridge is the pre-stressed concrete type, not the box-construction type which has achieved notoriety through several major disasters in recent years. There have been major collapses of similar bridges in Pasadena, California, and Koblenz, West Germany, in recent weeks.