At least sixteen workman died in a few thundering minutes yesterday s two great sections of the half-completed second Narrows Bridge slipped and crashed into Burrard Inlet.
At least sixteen workman died in a few thundering minutes yesterday s two great sections of the half-completed second Narrows Bridge slipped and crashed into Burrard Inlet. Sixty boats searched the fast-flowing waters for two man listed as missing. More than twenty other workers were taken to hospital, many with limbs crushed by falling steel girders.
As darkness gathered over the scene of the disaster the fleet of little boats spread from bank to bank, moved slowly up Burrard Inlet dragging for missing men. It was the end of a day which brought a tragic climax to months of labour.
The two, outermost spans of the skeletal structure fell with a mightily groan mid-afternoon plunging construction workers into the tidal stream. Some victims were crushed to death by the massive girder work falling on top of them. Others were pinned under the water by the debris and drowned. Others were believed swept away by the current to be drowned downstream.
The accident ended for the time being efforts to augment an existing wooden rail and road lift bridge spanning the narrows, about four miles east of downtown Vancouver. Today the toppled spans, fourth and fifth in the structure, stretching two-thirds across the inlet from the North Vancouver shore toward the city, each canted with one end in the water and the other leaning on 200-foot high concrete piers. Tangled in the girders was the wreckage of a cause which toppled with the fourth span.
As the search boats, aided by a RCAF helicopter, looked for victims in the waters, crowds watched along the shore.