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Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Bridge in France Collapse, Leads One Girl dead and 5 Missing

Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Bridge in France Collapse

Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Bridge in France Collapse: A 15-year-old girl was killed after a suspension bridge over a river in southwest France collapsed on Monday, causing a car, a truck and possibly a utility vehicle to plunge into the water, local authorities said.

Four people were rescued but several others are feared missing after the collapse of the Mirepoix-sur-Tarn bridge, the fire service and local security chief Etienne Guyot said.

The bridge linked the towns of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn and Bessieres, 18 miles north of the city of Toulouse, south west France.

According to local reports the 15-year-old victim had been in a car with her parents at the time of the collapse – with one woman able to swim to shore.

TV images showed a car bonnet, believed to be a Renault, Clio sticking out of the fast-flowing waters of the Tarn river and emergency service helicopters circling overhead.

The body of the dead girl was pulled from the water, Toulouse prosecutor Dominique Alzeari said at the scene. Her mother was rescued by onlookers.

Is is not yet clear why the bridge collapsed however local reports suggest a heavy weight truck, above the authorised tonnage limit for the bridge, may have attempted to cross.

Witnesses also saw a utility vehicle fall from the bridge into the water, reports la depeche.

Over 60 rescue workers, including divers, and 40 police were taking part in the search for survivors, Guyot told reporters, adding there were ‘probably several missing’.

Among those feared missing was the truck driver and the driver of a potential third vehicle, he said, adding that witnesses had reported seeing a van on the bridge.

The bridge which had a load limit of 19 tonnes, dated to the 1930s, he said, and was ‘regularly checked’.

The mayor of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Eric Oget described it as a ‘very important crossing point’ for people going to work in Toulouse on the other side of the river.

Many pedestrians, including schoolgoers, also used the bridge, he said, describing the accident as a ‘real trauma’.

The Mirepoix-sur-Tarn bridge ,492 feet long and 16 foot wide, is said to be maintained by the county council and was built in 1931 with renovation in 2003, reports RTBF.

 

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