الثلاثاء , يونيو 9 2020

'Miracle' no-one hurt in crane crush

The mayor of a Dutch town where two cranes toppled over and flattened buildings below says it was a “miracle” no-one was injured.

Liesbeth Spies spoke as investigations began into the cause of the collapse in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn.

Video showed the cranes, restoring the Juliana Bridge over the River Rhine, trying to hoist a section of bridge and toppling over under the weight.

At least four houses and two shops were destroyed, reports say.

“It is a miracle that no people were injured,” the mayor said. “The devastation is enormous.”

She said emergency teams were working to secure the site and help those who had lost their homes.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation.


Rescue workers made sure no-one was trapped


The two cranes fell in quick succession


The fallen cranes to the right, with the bridge section in between them

Rescuers who searched the rubble late into the night on Monday said they were confident nobody remained buried under the wreckage.

Initial reports that up to 20 people had been injured were later corrected by officials who said no-one had been hurt.

Local media said one man found with a wounded leg was not injured in the collapse.

A large number of people were at the site watching the bridge operation when the accident happened.

Witness Dick van Smirren, who filmed the incident, told the NOS national broadcaster: “You see the cloud of dust rise – that is a terrible image and you think: ‘Who is under there?’ You can’t believe what you see.”

The two cranes, linked together on a pontoon, were lifting a vast steel ramp that forms the central bridge span when they toppled.

Amateur video showed people jumping from the pontoon, with screams heard in the background.

Images on Dutch media showed a row of crushed buildings.

A survey in 2010 had shown the bridge over the Rhine to be in poor condition. Its renovation began this spring and was expected to take all summer.

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