Two men were killed and eight others injured - two seriously - when a 100-ton steel girder, 250-ft long, crashed 75ft to the ground as they worked on the GBP1,750,000 high-level bridge being built across the Manchester Ship Canal at Eccles, Lancashire, U.
Two men were killed and eight others injured - two seriously - when a 100-ton steel girder, 250-ft long, crashed 75ft to the ground as they worked on the GBP1,750,000 high-level bridge being built across the Manchester Ship Canal at Eccles, Lancashire, U.K, December 30.
The canal was temporarily closed - at an estimated cost of GBP500 per hour - as firemen using oxy-acetylene cutters worked by the light of arc lamps to extricate the body of one man buried beneath the tangled mass of steel littering the canal bank.
Twenty two men were working on the centre span of the bridge - part of the Stretford-Eccles motorway designed to eliminate traffic jams caused by the existing swing bridge - when the accident occurred. They were jacking the giant girders on to temporary trestles to check for alignment before lowering them on to the main structure. An eye-witness said the girders suddenly collapsed "like a pack of cards" taking the workmen with them.
This is the second major accident in the erection of the bridge - already six months behind schedule. Last February four men were killed when a temporary scaffolding tower collapsed.
Last week the contract of one construction company - who had completed all but a sixth of the structural steelwork on the bridge - was cancelled by the main contractors because it was alleged that industrial disputes, "go slow" actions, and strikes were handicapping the work. The contract was then transferred to another company. Workmen employed by the second company were approached by workmen formerly employed by the original contractors and asked to refuse to start work on the project. Their plea was rejected.
A member of the Factory Inspectorate staff will arrive on the site December 31 to begin an inquiry on the "Hoodoo Bridge", as the project has been named by engineers concerned.
Two men were killed this afternoon in an accident at the bridge being built at Eccles in Lancashire. Eight others were injured and taken to hospital.