5 Dead In Ayutthaya Bridge Collapse

Construction News

A suspension bridge over Pa Sak River in Ayutthaya collapsed yesterday evening, crushing five people to death underneath a pillar on one side, while wounding 15 others.

The collapse also sent a large number of pedestrians and motorcyclists into the water, but there were no casualties. The Bicentenary Bridge, 20 metres above the water, has been regularly used. The bridge is believed to have collapsed after the slings broke.

Source: The Nation

Snapped supporting cable causes tragedy

The investigation into the collapse of a suspension bridge in Tha Rua district of Ayutthaya province on Sunday evening has revealed that it was caused by a snapped supporting cable, the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) said.

EIT secretary general Thanes Weerasiri said after inspecting the collapsed bridge that the reason was not the bridge structure as there was no sign of subsidence of poles or surrounding areas. The structure was strong enough so the collapse could only have come from a snapped cable, but there must be a thorough investigation as to why the cable broke.

The supporting bridge will be cut away from the structure to reduce further damage and the debris will be cleared away.

Transport Minister Chatchart Sittipan has instructed the Highways Department and the Rural Roads Department, which are responsible for suspension bridges, to inspect the bridges to ensure there will no repeat of the Tha Rua incident. The order also covers local administrations nationwide.

Chartchai Thipsunavee, director-general of the Rural Roads Department, said the department was responsible for four suspension bridges in Kanchanaburi, Nan, Sukothai and Pichit. An inspection showed all were safe to use.

Samphan Koonthaweelapphol, mayor of Loei city municipality, said after inspecting a 23-year-old suspension bridge in the province that it had received annual maintenance.

Four officials from Office of the Auditor General of Thailand visited the municipality of tambon Tha Luang in Tha Rua district without advanced notification. They are investigating corruption and found that some financial documents about repairs to the bridge last year were missing.

The bridge over Pa Sak River was built in 1982 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Rattanokosin era.

The collapse claimed four lives and injured 12 people who are being treated at six hospitals in Ayutthaya and Saraburi provinces. A 10-year-old girl is still in a critical condition.

It was open to use only for pedestrians though some teenagers rode their motorcycles across the bridge.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/347609/snapped-supporting-cable-causes-tragedy

EIT blames collapse on poor repairs

Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) secretary-general Thanes Weerasiri is blaming Sunday’s deadly suspension bridge collapse in Ayutthaya on an “unprofessional” repair job last year.

Mr Thanes inspected the Rattanakosin Bridge over the Pasak River in tambon Tha Luang of Tha Rua district yesterday after it collapsed on Sunday evening, killing four people and injuring 45.

Tambon Tha Luang mayor Chettha Pathumrangsee told him the 8.2-million-baht bridge had been built in 2011 to replace an old bridge that had been constructed in 1982. It was repaired in February 2012 after it was struck by a boat.

Mr Thanes said the repairs involved only the adjustment of vertical suspension cables. The main cables were not touched, resulting in a load-sharing imbalance that caused a main cable to snap.
He said the repairs had been unprofessional based on his visual observations, and no calculations of load sharing had been performed. He added that investigators should find out if the cables had been designed and installed correctly.

Four officials from the Office of the Auditor-General arrived at Tambon Tha Luang municipal office yesterday to investigate the tragedy.

Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan has asked Ayutthaya governor Withaya Pewpong to provide an investigative report within 15 days. Mr Withaya has formed a committee to study and confirm the cause of the collapse.

Mr Charupong said he hoped the debris would be cleared and river transport could resume in a few days.

In the meantime, he and Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt ordered provincial authorities and highway and rural road agencies to check the conditions of bridges nationwide.

Mr Charupong also visited the injured at hospitals yesterday. Each of the injured will receive 3,000 baht from the Thai Red Cross Society, while Ayutthaya authorities will pay 25,000 baht in initial compensation to the family of each person who died.

The bridge collapse killed four people, who were identified as Piriyaporn Suasaming, 10, Kesinee Chabasee, 54, Nanyawut Jaijong, 24, and Samart Yanpanya, 34.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/347637/eit-blames-collapse-on-poor-repairs

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