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Footbridge crashes in Prague, four people injured

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Prague, Dec 2 (CTK) – Four people were injured, two severely, in a footbridge’s crash in Prague on Saturday, when a part of it fell in the Vltava River, rescuers and the fire corps’ spokespersons have told CTK.

The injured people were rushed to Prague hospitals.

A man, 60, and a woman, 61, suffered multiple injuries. The man has been kept in induced sleep at an anesthetic and resuscitation ward. The woman has been hospitalised at an intensive care unit.

The other two persons, men aged 43 and 34, suffered less severe wounds, bruised back and a leg and wrist injury, respectively.

The concrete bridge in the northern part of the city, which connected the right bank in the Troja neighbourhood with the Cisarsky island on the Vltava River, crashed at around 13:30.

“A part of the bridge fell and another part threatens to fall,” Firefighters’ spokesman Martin Kavka told CTK

After the accident, the firefighters, assisted by canoeists from a nearby sports centre, searched the river surface for possible further victims.

The police sealed both ends of the broken bridge to keep a crowd of curious people away from the scene of accident.

The firefighters asked for cruiser boat transport to be stopped along the river section involved.

The suspension bridge, designated exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists, was opened in 1984, replacing a provisional pontoon bridge that had been installed in 1976 and was swept away by a flood in 1981.

The new bridge was designed by Professor Jiri Strasky, one of the most significant Czech bridge constructors.

The footbridge was quite busy, also popular with families with children and other people walking to the Prague zoo in Troja.

Representatives of the local Prague district have arrived at the scene of the accident.

“I am immediately convoking an extraordinary meeting of the [town hall’s] supervisory board with the presence of the officials responsible for bridges,” district deputy mayor and City Hall assemblyman Ondrej Mirovsky told CTK.

In 2014, the technical management body found out that the bridge’s steel ropes got considerably weakened due to corrosion. Before, the bridge underwent some basic repairs in 2011, when the technical managers estimated its further lifespan at five to seven years.

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