The chilling moment of an overpass collapse has been captured on dash camera by a lucky Russian driver who managed to narrowly dodge the falling concrete. While he escaped in one piece, two other people were injured.
The freak incident occurred in Orenburg, in the Russian Urals, late on Monday. The massive car overpass, measuring more than 100 meters (328 feet) in length, abruptly fell to its side, plummeting onto the road below.
The driver owes his miraculous salvation to another motorist who made an emergency stop under the overpass and, as a law-abiding citizen, placed a warning triangle on the road. The time the driver spent passing the sign meant he dodged almost certain death.
Two people, however, were injured during the collapse, including the driver of a heavy dump truck, who was on the overpass when it fell. Russia’s Investigative Committee released footage of the aftermath of the collapse, showing the overturned truck and the car, half of which was flattened by the bridge. If the incident had occurred during the day, when the road is busy with traffic, its toll would likely be significantly higher.
Preliminary findings indicate that the bridge collapse was likely caused by the heavy dump truck that was carrying crushed stone, local authorities said. The overpass was undergoing repairs, and warning signs limiting the weight of the vehicles were in place. Despite that, a motorcade of three dump trucks entered the bridge which ultimately collapsed as the last one passed. It remains unclear why the truck drivers ignored the signs and why the overpass was not closed for traffic altogether during the maintenance work.
A criminal probe into the collapse has already been launched. Apart from the alleged overload of the truck, the investigators are also looking into potential irregularities during maintenance works. Since the bridge was damaged beyond repair in the incident, a new one will be built in its place, Orenburg governor’s office said.
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