Huge 485-foot timber and steel bridge collapses into Norwegian river just ten years after it opened, with riders somehow surviving ‘catastrophic’ collapse while crossing
- Nearby houses shake as a huge truck almost crashes into a river during rush hour in Norway as a bridge collapses
- A helicopter had to pull the truck driver out of his vehicle, another car driver was able to get out
- The bridge opened in 2012 and was inspected just last year, raising concerns other crossings may be vulnerable
- A resident said: “The house was shaking. I pulled up the blinds […] and looked directly at a bridge that lay in the river.
A 485-foot timber and steel bridge in Norway collapsed during rush hour this morning, sending a truck and car into the water.
Police were called just after 7.30am local time to deal with the collapsed Tretten Bridge in central Norway, which crosses the Gudbrandsdalslaagen river.
Both drivers were rescued and are doing well, police said.
A helicopter had to pull the truck driver out of his sunken vehicle, which was standing almost vertically on a collapsed piece of bridge sticking out of the water at an angle.
The huge timber and steel bridge was built just a decade ago but two vehicles fell as it collapsed earlier today
The driver of the car managed to get out of the vehicle and get to safety on his own.
Almost 150 meters long, the bridge connects the west bank of the Gudbrandsdalslaagen river and the village of Tretten.
The bridge is only a decade old and opened in 2012.
“It’s completely disastrous, completely unreal,” Mayor Jon Halvor Midtmageli told Dabgladet newspaper.
“It’s also a fairly new bridge.
“It’s completely destroyed, everything fell down,” he added.
A helicopter was needed to rescue the truck driver, who was lucky to survive the “catastrophic” rush hour collapse
The driver of the car (pictured just above the fast-flowing river) was able to climb out of his car and get to safety
The Norwegian Automobile Association said the bridge was last inspected in 2021, raising concerns about the safety of such bridges.
“We who are on the road must be able to trust that the bridges are safe to drive on,” spokeswoman for the organization Ingunn Handagard told the Norwegian news agency NTB.
The cause of the collapse was initially unknown.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration called for an independent investigation.
Local authority workers watch as the river pours violently into the collapsed 485-foot bridge in central Norway today
Pieces of wood appeared to separate from the concrete pillars to which they were attached under the weight of the truck
“Driving on Norwegian roads must be safe. That’s why it’s important to get to the bottom of this case,” said Administrative Director Ingrid Dahl Hovland.
Atle Formo, who lives at Trettenbrücke, said he heard “a violent crash”.
“The whole house was shaking. I pulled up the blinds in the bedroom and looked straight at a bridge in the river,” he told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
Terrifying images showed the wooden and steel bridge completely destroyed, apparently under the weight of a truck. Both drivers miraculously emerged unscathed from the catastrophic incident this morning
A similar nearby bridge at Sjoa in the Gudbrandtal, also made of glued laminated timber, collapsed in 2016.
The driver of a truck crossing the bridge at the time suffered minor injuries.
After this collapse, 11 similar bridges, including the one in Tretten, were temporarily closed by the government agency responsible for Norway’s infrastructure.
The agency said in a 2016 report on the collapse that “the direct cause of the bridge collapse is a broken link in the frame.”