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Sat December 09 2023

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Two killed in French bridge collapse

19 Nov 19 Two people died yesterday when a suspension bridge collapsed in Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, France.

A lorry and a car fell into the river when the 88-year-old bridge on the RD71 collapsed.  

Ministers ordered the immediate launch of an investigation by the land transport accident investigation bureau, Bureau d’enquêtes sur les accidents de transport terrestre (BEA-TT).

This 155m-long bridge is managed by the local government of Haute-Garonne. A detailed inspection of the structure in 2017 did not identify any safety issues; a visual inspection in 2018 reached the same conclusion.

A recent audit of the French local road network had emphasised the priority to be given to structures. The maintenance budget for the bridges on the national local road network is set to be increased from €70m (£60m) in 2019 to €79m in 2020, with a target of €129m in 2026, in line with the audit recommendations. Other measures are planned in terms of strengthening skills, supporting local authorities and developing connected monitoring systems for bridges in order to support communities nationwide.

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