6 die, others missing after bridge collapses

2012-12-11 09:41

Ermelo - At least six people died when a bridge on the R65 between Ermelo and Lothair collapsed in heavy rain on Monday night, the Mpumalanga department of community safety said.

Spokesperson Joseph Mabuza said three vehicles, one of them a minibus taxi, crashed into the broken bridge.

Six people died and five were seriously injured. Mabuza said several others were missing.

The bridge was swept away just before 21:00.

He said motorists should use the R33, N17 and the Ermelo/Mpuluzi road as alternative routes because the R65 remained closed in the vicinity of the accident.

  • lee.brand.73 - 2012-12-11 09:50

    Condolences to the families of those killed.

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2012-12-11 09:50

    Condolances to all and their families. I hope the emergency services were there to direct the traffic?

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2012-12-11 09:55

    My word, such sad news may they be found the ones that are missing? and for the others may you all rest in peace and those that are injured get well soon.

  • nhlapop - 2012-12-11 10:03

    Condolences to the famalies. I hope our desaster management will assit those who lost the love ones. Not Zuma because he wont take them seriously since hes more focused on Mangaung.

  • lulama - 2012-12-11 10:04

    Who built the bridge and when was it built?

      karen.t.hawkey - 2012-12-11 10:12

      and you ask this because? How about "RIP or condolences to the families" etc?!! - 2012-12-11 10:13

      please in your "infinite" wisdom, explain to us how does this matter??

      daniel.machet - 2012-12-11 10:26

      Of course first thoughts are condolences to the people who have died in this tragedy... but I must say my thoughts also mirror lulama's as the last time a bridge washed away it had just been built by malema's construction company

      andre.maritz.773 - 2012-12-11 11:09

      Not the same guys who build these bridges I assume, not that I see how this is relevent at thi stime.

      mokgadi.mahloborakgoale - 2012-12-11 12:12

      How insensitive! People died here; the least you can do is sympathize with their families.

      pfsteyn - 2012-12-11 12:24

      It is very relevant who built this bridge. If this bridge collapsed due to shoddy engineering then those engineers are the ones responsible for this tragic loss of life. - 2012-12-11 12:30

      I get your questions, Lulama. 'Rest in Peace' (while implied) doesn't cut it for the families that have lost their bread-winner. Was this just nature, or was the bridge not maintained or poorly built? In other words, is there someone that can be blamed, called to book and be forced to help the survivors.

  • thaluki.malema - 2012-12-11 10:04

    Condolences to the families of the deceased. Accident only due to the lack of maintenance & maladministration by the current government. It's time for them to be replaced.

      stella.hlophe - 2012-12-11 11:20

      Yes, they need to be replaced. But bridges, homes, etc also collapsed during KZN's 1986/7 floods!

  • mart.botha - 2012-12-11 10:06

    Tragic indeed. The families and the public also have a right to know if this was a 'tender bridge'.

  • karen.t.hawkey - 2012-12-11 10:13

    How very sad just before the festive season. RIP. May all the families concerned feel God's presence in their healing process.

  • velani.mathonsi - 2012-12-11 10:15

    This is so sad, condelences to the families of those who lost their lives in that unfortunate occurance

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-11 10:23

    What ever next - bridges collapsing,trains falling into the river!! Seems Chrismas time always brings so much tradgedy with it. Condolences to the families affected.

  • thelma.pottek - 2012-12-11 10:45

    My heart goes out to the families involved. Tragedy is never a good thing. Lets worry about pointing vingers some other time, give people atleast time to grieve.

  • rudzanimulaudzi.mulaudzi - 2012-12-11 11:05

    Its sad cause no one can control nature but we as citizen like to know who built the bridge and when. If it was long ago who is responsible for maitanance. If it was new was it a tender bridge or not. My condolences to the families.

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-12-11 12:07

      That road is quite old, therefore the bridge is also quite old. On those secondary roads most of the bridge are low lying as the road follows the natuarl contour of the valley.The collapse may not be due to a lack of mainteance, but due to a change in the environmental conditions - there might have been a lot more water than there has ever been trying to flow under the bridge. Alternatively, the water may have also broght with it a lot of debris such as trees, etc, that helped stop the flow of water and the build up of pressure upstream resulted in the bridge collapsing as it was not designed to handle that kind of pressure. In the Philipines there was a land slide where there hasd never been a hurricane before - are we going to ask who built / maintained that mountain side that collapsed?

  • nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-12-11 11:41

    Not sure which bridge collapsed. I use the R65 Ermelo - Amsterdam to go to Swaziland, and yes there is asecondary road to Lothair (not R65) so I am confused - I do not want to find myself in front of a Detour sign which suddenly disappears and you have to guess how to proceed. So which bridge - R65 or on the Lothair secondary route? Accurate reporting please!!!

      bonganie.dladla - 2012-12-12 18:44

      Is sad hey I was passing there 3dayz back

  • mokgadi.mahloborakgoale - 2012-12-11 12:15

    Really traggic! may their soul rest in peace & the injured recover. Wishing their families strentgh. My condolensces to those who lost their love ones.

  • Mandri Wessels Olivier - 2012-12-11 13:54

    Unfortunately the number rose to 14 now. My husband has been on the scene for hours. According to him it wasn't even a river bridge, there was only a storm water pipe under the bridge. He suspects a dam broke higher up. But that is pure speculation at this point. This really is such a horrible, horrible tragedy! My condolences to the families! : (

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-12-11 14:39

      Terrible incident, RIP to all. My point exactly, the structure was never designed to handle the amount of water - it was what is called a culvert. not even a bridge, and therefore flashfloods or overflowing dams will remove the pipes. So the speculation about maintenance,etc, is sickening!

  • WigzellRM - 2012-12-11 14:04

    RIP and sincere condolences to the bereaved. Question : was the bridge correctly maintained?

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-12-11 21:42

      Hell no it wasn't! That whole road is a giant f*ck up!

  • mohammed.jassat.73 - 2012-12-11 14:39

    Really sad - have pics of bridge collapse but not sure how to load!

  • gladness - 2012-12-11 15:06

    This is very sad. The Hawks must investigate who built the bridge, and if they stole some of the materials, thus making the bridge weak.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-11 15:55

    Tender bridges..when the gravy train moves it kills those that are not aboard it.

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-12-11 21:37

    I often have to drive that section of road and am horrified to hear of this wasteful loss of life. If someone is to blame it MUST be whoever is responsible for the maintence on those roads. They are in a disgusting state of disrepair huge pot holes and such so I can also honestly say I'm not surprised that this has happened.

  • ernest.mastodon - 2012-12-11 23:06

    Joh manje how many have bin swept, wats the probability of floods hitting Bethal.

  • kgobi.linah - 2012-12-12 05:54

    6 die,others missing after bridge collapses

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