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Civil Engineering Disasters – Collapse Of Bridges

Civil Engineering Disasters – Collapse Of Bridges

September 11, 1916. Quebec Bridge (Canada)
This is not the first destruction of the bridge. The first time tragedy occurred in 1907.

About first collapse of the bridge
The bridge was nearing completion, when the local engineering began noticing increasing distortions of key structural members already in place. After four years of construction, the south arm and part of the central section of the bridge collapsed into the St. Lawrence River in just 15 seconds. Of the 86 workers on the bridge that day near quitting time, 75 were killed and the rest were injured.
About second collapse of the bridge After a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the collapse, construction started on a second bridge, but September 11, 1916, when the central span was being raised into position, it fell into the river, killing 13 workers.


December 15, 1967. Silver Bridge (USA)
On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed while it was choked with rush hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Investigation of the wreckage pointed to the cause of the collapse being the failure of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect only 0.1 inches (2.54 mm) deep. It was also noted that the bridge was carrying much heavier loads than it was originally designed for and was poorly maintained.The new bridge that replaced the Silver Bridge was named the Silver Memorial Bridge.



March 17, 1945. Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen, Germany)
28 U.S. army engineers were killed while working to strengthen the bridge, and 93 others were wounded.



May 9, 1980. Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Florida, USA)
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge was collapsed on May 9, 1980, when the freighter SS Summit Venture collided with a pier (support column) during a storm , sending over 1200 feet of the bridge plummeting into Tampa Bay. The collision caused six automobiles and a bus to fall 150 feet, killing 35 people.



June 28, 1983. Mianus River Bridge (Connecticut, USA)
Three people were killed when their vehicles fell with the bridge into the Mianus River 70 feet below, and three were seriously injured. Collapse due to failure of the Pin and Hanger assembly supporting the span.



October 21, 1994. Seongsu Bridge (Seoul, South Korea)

On October 21, 1994, Seongsu Bridge connecting Seongsu-dong and Apgujeong-dong of Gangnam-gu, Seoul, collapsed. The slab (48 m) between the fifth and the sixth leg of the Bridge collapsed so 32 people died and 17 people were injured. One of its concrete slabs fell due to a failure of the suspension structure. This structural failure was caused by joints of trusses (steel structures) supporting the bridge slab were not welded to the full; the welding thickness, which should be over 10mm, was only 8mm; and further, connecting pins for steel bolts were poor.


January 4, 1999. Rainbow bridge (China)
In January 4, 1999, a pedestrian Rainbow bridge across the Qi River in the Sichuan province collapsed three years after it was built. The collapse of the Rainbow bridge led to 40 deaths and 14 injuries. Parts of the bridge were rusty, concrete used in its construction was too weak and there were serious welding problems.



March 4 , 2001. Hintze Ribeiro Bridge (Castelo de Paiva, Portugal)
On March 4, 2001, the Hintze Ribeiro Bridge, made of steel and concrete, collapsed in Entre-os-Rios, Castelo de Paiva, Portugal, killing to 70 people, including those in a bus and three cars that were attempting to get to the other side of the river.



August 28, 2003. Bridge Daman (Daman, India)
At least 25 people, including 23 children, die when a bridge in the western coastal area of Daman collapsed into a muddy river, throwing a school bus, 10 vehicles and pedestrians into the swirling waters due to heavy rains.



November 7, 2005. (Almunecar, Spain)
Five Portuguese and one Spanish national died near Almunecar on Spain’s, after a 20-ton section of motorway viaduct fell from 80 meters onto workers below.



December 2, 2006. (Bihar, India)

Thirty-three people are killed when a 150-year-old bridge, being dismantled, crashed on the train near the Bhagalpur railway station in the state of Bihar.



August 1, 2007. Minneapolis I-35W bridge (Minneapolis, USA)
On August 1, 2007, during the evening rush hour, the main spans of the bridge collapsed, falling into the river and onto its banks. Thirteen people died and approximately one hundred more were injured. The 1,907-foot bridge fell into the Mississippi River. Currently under investigation.



August 13, 2007. Tuo River bridge (Hunan, China)
The 140-foot-high bridge spanning the Tuo River in the central Hunan city of Fenghuang collapsed as workers removed scaffolding from its facade. Investigation underway.


In case we missed some please feel free to write about it in the comment box and we will update it as soon as possible

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

28 comments on "Civil Engineering Disasters – Collapse Of Bridges"

Elizabeth Daniels says:

thats so sad but everything happens for a reason maybe it was time to have a new bridge

Anonymous says:

Thats not so good, lots of people died just so we can have a good bridge?

Mansoor Vikio Bhanbhro says:

sher shah flyover was crushed in karachi …the cause was failure of a pile and it deflect the pilecap…due to deflection of pilecap whole the structure seriously affected nd piershaft get away frm itz position, due to that the girder slipz nd bring the deck slab on to the ground.

chockalingam says:

Hi sir good mrng.The failure of a platform during the common wealth in Delhi and failure of metro rail bridge is missing sir. Pls upload it sir.It will be very useful 2 al of us sir
Thank u

Bhanu prakash D says:

Great Job in demonstration of Structural Failures. This will become an eye opening incidents for all civil engineers to ensure the responsibilty of Quality works in civil Engineering.

Daniel Ward says:

The picture on the left side under the Silver Bridge description is actually a photo of the Schoharie Creek Bridge collapse on the New York State Thruway in 1987.

bhavi khatri says:

thanks for this awareness for civil engineersreguarding quality works

Allan moses says:

these disasters should never have happened to much lose of life families destroyed ,accidents slips and trips reports on workers injured or killed on site even maimed but why the use structural building cement concrete the curing is 21 days to set , no building or construction company should be using cheap and unusuful material when building ,or where it concerns humans members of the public transport , to much damage to many lives lost for what someone elses error of misjudgement to many bereaved families left to live with the fact they will never see their loved ones again ,,may god forgive these structural engineers whose responsability were to build and design a safe sturdy support structure never to fail or to fall or to be a danger in the fact that people should not lose their lives over some.elses design dreams and ideas for the world to see and use…..

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