Bridge collapses in Trondheim

At least one person was missing and several injured after a bridge under construction collapsed on the outskirts of Trondheim Wednesday afternoon. Emergency crews were still scrambling to reach a car trapped under the rubble.

Anders Bang Danielsen of the Trondheim police confirmed that at least six persons were injured when the unfinished bridge collapsed at around 2:30pm onto the roadway below at Leangen in Trondheim. The construction project is part of improvements being made to the eastbound portion of the busy E6 highway through Trondheim.

The person missing is the driver of a car pinned under the collapsed bridge. Danielsen said it was unclear whether there also were passengers in the car or whether other cars were caught under the rubble as well.

“I’m afraid at least one vehicle with persons inside is caught under the bridge,” Danielsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). He said between six and eight other persons were injured and sent to St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim.

For NRK’s photos from the scene, click here.

Rescue crews reported that they had cleared enough rubble by late afternoon to see the car but still couldn’t get to it. Danielsen told NRK the rescue work was expected to take several more hours. Police, fire brigades and ambulance crews were on the scene including an air ambulance. Police also called in help from neighbouring sheriffs’ offices.

Arild Heimdal of a local car dealership located near the bridge told NRK he heard “a terrible rumbling noise” and customers started yelling that “the bridge had fallen down.” He said there were many people working on the bridge and that he and others were “shocked” by the collapse.

“There’s always a lot of traffic under this bridge,” he said, adding that it was being expanded. “There had to be people under it, I can’t imagine anything else,” he said.

Harald Inge Johnsen, project leader for the state highway department (Statens vegvesen) said it was “complete chaos” in the area. Heavy construction equipment was being used “to clear the rubble and see what’s under it,” he told NRK.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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