World News

Colombia Bridge Collapse Throws Workers to Their Deaths

Posted January 16, 2018 11:58 a.m. EST
Updated January 16, 2018 12:00 p.m. EST

A bridge under construction in a mountainous region of central Colombia has collapsed, throwing 10 workers about 900 feet to their deaths.

The victims had been doing drainage work Monday on the Chirijara bridge, a 1,500-foot-long structure over a gorge about an hour’s drive from Villavicencio, on the highway to the capital, Bogotá.

Nine of those who fell died immediately, and the 10th died of his injuries after being taken to a hospital.

Coviandes, the company carrying out the work, published the names of the nine who died at the site and said that others wounded in the collapse were being treated.

The National Infrastructure Agency of Colombia said it was investigating the cause. About 260 feet of the bridge was still incomplete when it collapsed.

The bridge was intended as an improvement to the highway linking Bogotá and Villavicencio. The picturesque route crosses the tropical northern Andes, with a series of sharp bends and vertiginous drops.

The same route was the scene of a landslide in 1974, which claimed at least 200 lives.