HONG KONG: A bridge in Hong Kong was almost brought crashing down on Saturday when a truck driver who had forgotten to lower the crane on his vehicle smashed into the structure.
Miraculously, no one was injured in the bizarre accident in Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island, but the driver was sent to hospital for a check-up.
The truck hit the bridge as it passed under it on Chai Wan Road at around 5pm, bending the elevated walkway completely out of shape. The crane and truck were left wedged into the structure, with the vehicle locked in position, its front facing the sky. Cracks were seen across the stairs to the bridge.
The driver was left trapped inside the vehicle. He was rescued by firefighters an hour and a half later.
Chai Wan Road was closed to traffic in both directions between Aldrich Street and A Kung Ngam Road while officials inspected the bridge to determine if it was safe to use.
Bus routes were diverted, and Hong Kong’s Transport Department advised motorists to use alternative routes.
Under the city’s Road Traffic Regulations, the height of a crane truck on the road must not exceed 4.6 metres.
Drivers are required to ensure their motor vehicle, all its parts, accessories and load cause no danger or damage. Failure to do so can leave a driver liable to a fine of HK$5,000 (US$640) and imprisonment for three months.
The Highways Department said parts of the pedestrian bridge would have to be removed for safety reasons.
“Upon initial inspection, some of the steel structures and signage were severely damaged,” it said in a statement. “The Highways Department is making the necessary arrangements for clearance works so that the road can be reopened for the public as soon as possible.”
It added that the government would recover maintenance costs from the involved parties in accordance with an established mechanism for dealing with damage to public roads and facilities caused by traffic accidents. - SCMP
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