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Mon June 21 2021

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Trailer failure creates drama in Leeds

17 May Press reports of a bridge collapse in Leeds on Friday evening may have generated excitement, but it was somewhat a case of fake news.

Image of the slipped beam from in YouTube news reports. [Contact us if credit required.]
Image of the slipped beam from in YouTube news reports. [Contact us if credit required.]

A large concrete bridge beam, removed as part of a flyover renewal project, fell off the trailer that was supposed to take it away for breaking.

Some press reports interpreted photographs of the scene as showing a huge load dropped by a crane onto a truck. Not true. The beam had slipped to the ground from the trailer onto which it had already been safely placed. No one was hurt. Still a failure, but not such a dramatic one.

The £31m road improvement project, which began in May 2020, involves the demolition and reconstruction of the northern section of Leeds Regent Street flyover.

A weekend statement from the city council explained: “Essential work to demolish and rebuild the northern section of Regent Street Flyover is currently ongoing. Last night, a concrete section of the demolished bridge was being lifted onto a specialist trailer to be disposed of and recycled away from site.

“It was safely placed onto the heavy load vehicle. However there was failure of the trailer, causing the piece of bridge to shift from its resting position. It is now being broken up for safe removal and will be cleared from the site by lunchtime today [Saturday].

“There were no accidents or injuries as a consequence of the trailer system failing and work will continue to demolish the bridge over the coming days.”

The haulage contractor, TW Bowlers Heavy Haulage, said: “To put a conclusion to the numerous theories, the accident cause was a component failure.”

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