Ashburton bridge over N3 safe

2014-10-25 00:00

A RAGING inferno engulfed a truck that collided into the wall of the bridge over the N3 at Ashburton on Thursday night.

Engineers were yesterday assessing the bridge after fears that the structure may be compromised by the damage caused in the crash.

It is alleged that the front right wheel of the truck burst as the driver was approaching the bridge on the highway from Durban. The driver lost control and veered off the road, smashing into the left-hand column of the bridge.

The truck, which was carrying large rolls of printing paper, was instantly swallowed up by searing flames that towered higher than 10 metres, leaving smoldering black stains as far up as the railings of the bridge.

An eyewitness, who was driving behind the truck at the time of the crash, said when he jumped out of his car to assist, he “could feel the heat from the flames from more than 30 metres away”.

“It exploded in a matter of seconds. The flames were so high they went over the bridge. I heard a lot of bangs like someone was shooting a gun,” the frenzied man said.

Yesterday, the aftermath of the incident was felt by motorists. The N3 was a slow hustle with bumper-bumper cars stretching back as far as the eye could see. As a precautionary measure, two cars were being let through at a time until surveyors could make sure the structure of the bridge was not compromised.

Kwanele Ncalane, spokesperson for the KZN Department of Transport, said they are aware that the incident caused “havoc on the roads”.

“A recovery took place [yesterday] and the roads are now opened again,” Ncalane said.

Bruno Cullen, project manager at Sanral, said there is some damage to the bridge.

“We have called in an expert to look at it and we are going to have to do some repairs to three columns. The bridge is not likely to collapse,” Cullen said.

At the time of going to press, the bridge was still being surveyed. Light motor vehicles were being allowed to pass over the bridge one at a time, but trucks and other heavier motor vehicles were being diverted.

According to Cullen, it is unclear how long it will take to finish the repairs.

PHOTO: THAMI MKHULISA

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.