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10 workers killed in Colombian cable-stayed bridge collapse

A bridge under construction in the mountains of central Colombia collapsed on Monday as it was nearing completion, killing 10 workers and injuring eight. Nine of those who fell died immediately, and the 10th died of his injuries after being taken to a hospital.

The workers were installing drains on the Chirijara bridge when it failed. All but 80m of the 450m deck had been completed when the tragedy occurred.  

The cable-stayed structure was to span a gorge about an hour’s drive from Villavicencio, on the highway to the capital of Bogotá.

The bridge was being built on behalf of Colombian company Concesionaria Vial de los Andes, or Coviandes. It published the names of nine of the dead workers on its website. It added that they were employed by two Colombian subcontractors, road and bridge specialist Gisaico and steel firm Icmo.

It said: "The priority of Coviandes at the moment is to pay attention to the families of those affected. Coviandes is grateful for the collaboration of all the relief agencies, doctors and technical experts who, from the moment of the incident, accompanied the concessionaire in the rescue and care of the injured.

"As of today, experts are moving to the scene of the events who will investigate the causes of this unfortunate event. The Concessionaire is willing to meet any requirement of the competent authorities."

The collapse will be investigated by the National Infrastructure Agency of Colombia.

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